October 23, 2020
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Classic Signals: Dorm decor contest sparks creativity

By Jane Bowden
Features Editor

With spring season just around the corner, students often feel inspired to clean out their closets and rearrange the decorations in their room for a change of scenery.

In a March 1998 issue of The Signal, a reporter wrote that two students won The Signal’s “Cool Room Contest” after decorating their dorm with a couch and 10-foot, plastic bat.

Spring cleaning inspires students to rearrange their rooms (Photo courtesy of the TCNJ Digital Archives).

Amy Lopez and Lois Harper think they have one of the coolest rooms at The College of New Jersey. And now, after winning The Signal’s “Cool Room Contest,” they have proof.

Lopez said that she entered the contest after seeing it advertised in The Signal. She remembers thinking, “Damn it, this room is pretty cool. Everybody likes it.” The rest is history.

Some of the more notable features of the New Residence Hall room include a 10-foot plastic bat, a couch the roommates claim has an almost magical, sleep-inducing power and, of course, the presence of an imaginary cow.

When asked about the origin of the cow, the two girls were somewhat uncertain. However, Harper seemed to think it all went back to one night when she mistook the wind outside for a cow’s “moo.”

Also in the room is a poster of Harper’s rendition of an angel gone bad.

The poster originally depicted a couple of angels leaning on their elbows and looking toward the sky. However, the poster was slightly damaged while being stored, and now the angel, in the words of Lopez, “looks like it’s smoking a joint!”

People “call (the room) ‘heaven and hell,”‘ Harper said. After being in the room for more than two seconds, it’s not very hard to see why.

Perhaps the most interesting design aspect of the room is the inadvertent contrast between the roommates’ decorating styles. Lopez’s section is Gothic. There is a black cat and bat garland, as well as miniature black trees. “For me, Halloween is everyday,” Lopez said.

Harpers’ choice of decor is the opposite. Aside from her deformed angel poster, which blurs the line a little, her side is far lighter and happier than Lopez’s.

The roommates signed up for the same room two years ago, hit it off and have lived together since. Sadly, however, this semester will mark the end of an era for one of the coolest rooms on campus.

The two roommates will be split up next year. Lopez, a senior marketing major, will live off campus, while Harper, a junior elementary education/English major, will live at home.

Needless to say, next year, the college will be a little less cool.

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