Don't be deceived by the modifier "old";, for Will Rice's "Old Dorm"; is probably the ultimate gem of architectural wonder on the entire campus. In fact, it was constructed in 1912 as South Hall - the first dorm rooms EVER to exist on the campus of William Marsh Rice University. Its ornate archways, wrought iron adornments, and allegedly indestructible infrastructure (and plumbing!) should all be reason enough to salivate over the prospect of living in this building. Those lucky enough to live here will experience the extremely-social ambiance of Old Dorm culture, a phenomenon that owes its existence to - among other singularities - the communal bathrooms, the collaborative vibe of the Weiner Hole, the traditions of Long Hall, and of course, the "open door policy" inherent in each dorm room. Of course, this all leads to Will Ricers having a general propensity to take over Old Dorm venues such as the kitchen, roof, or even the hallway of Long Hall itself for impromptu dance parties, midnight snacks, and other social activities.
Basically, you get history, social life, hardwood floors, and high ceilings. Oh, and by the way, the rooms are generally pretty big. Live here for AT LEAST one year and you definitely won't be able to deny that Old Dorm rocks!
Congratulations - you're living in one of the newest dorms on campus!
A little bit of history: this particular building actually replaced a "New Dorm" that was constructed in the 50s. It was a building affectionately loved by those who lived in its various 8-man and 4-man suites, a living arrangement that bred- in true 50s fashion - free love and friendship among the inhabitants of the dorm. But New Dorm was also infested with another phenomenon of the 50s - asbestos. Falling apart and crumbly with asbestos, New Dorm was knocked down in 2009 and the current structure was built while the resilient populace of Will Rice stayed at McMurtry College.
Although lacking the time-honored traditions of Old Dorm, by the time the weekend rolls around, Newer Dorm has a unique feel to its nightlife. You're bound to come across gatherings in one of the four 8-person suites on second or third floor, or in the spacious (and well-furnished) floor common rooms, or perhaps you'll discover some fellow Will Ricers hanging out on the magnificent fourth floor balconies. Often you'll find that Newer Dorm social gatherings will rival those of the mighty Old Dorm come the weekend time - but hey, that just means that we're THAT awesome of a college, right?
Oh, and yes, each dorm room in Newer Dorm has its own highly functional bathroom. Winning!
Life in the Will Rice commons is the lifeblood of our community, perhaps more so to us than to any other college on campus. We treasure our mealtimes. In fact, Will Ricers are encouraged to eat as many meals as possible together - it's a grounding social activity, and extremely inclusive too. It's not uncommon in the commons (HAH!) to see members from all grades - freshmen through seniors - mixed around at different tables, eating and chattering together. You never say no when a fellow Will Ricer comes to sit with you, and you'll soon learn that no matter how little space there may seem to be at any given table, you will ALWAYS have room for one more person.
Beyond mealtimes, life in the Will Rice commons is a precious phenomenon. This is where Will Ricers gather for study breaks, associates nights, fancy dinners, and various other events planned by the socials committees. Most of the time though, Will Ricers will scamper down to the commons to do homework together or simply hang out and talk about whatever excites us. As a Will Ricer, you'll come to greatly cherish the commons as - at least in some part - a centering force in your life at Rice University.
Competition and the spirit of winning are synonymous with the Will Rice identity, and so it is only appropriate that the lower portion of the commons is outfitted with the latest in game room technology. Whether walking down after finishing dinner or after completing a problem set well past midnight, you're bound to find ping-pong champions dueling at the table tennis courts, game junkies trying their hand at classic Nintendo NES games on the WRCade, or old Doc C flattening any and all competition at both foosball tables at the same time.
Even if you're a beginner or not fond of competition, don't be afraid to try your hand at foosball or even a game of on the WRCade! Beyond the ideologies of winning and competition, Will Ricers love the spirit of simply coming together to enjoy the thrill of a game. It's no wonder that our game room probably gets more use than any other game room on campus. You'll love it, too.
Do you enjoy playing piano, reading, and/or napping? The Will Rice PDR is fantastic for all of these activities and more. Although every college on campus has a PDR, the Will Rice PDR is known for its especially fantastic windows, periodic piano duels (jazz and classical!), comfy couches, and extensive catalogues of reading material. You'll frequent this room to either engage in one of those activities, get some group studying done at the white board, or just hang out somewhere a little bit more comfortable and intimate than the commons. In fact, it's such a fabulous room that sometimes random a capella groups and other organizations will rent the room out from the Will Rice Secretaries for practice-space, much to the dismay of Will Ricers who desire to use the room for their fellow academic reviews or chillin' out purposes. You'll learn to love this room just as much as many Will Ricers before you.
If you walk past the Will Rice Commons from the Old Dorm side, you'll notice some magnificent windows that peer into an equally magnificent room with a fireplace, fancy lamps, a grand oak table, a filing cabinet of old test material (VERY helpful), and some quaint leather couches. Some people refer to this room as the parlor and others refer to it as the library (even though there are no bookselves in this room). Whatever you choose to call it, this room inevitably becomes one of two default study rooms for groups, or for people who desire a touch of sophistication in their surroundings as they go about writing papers or completing problem sets. During finals and midterms, this room crowds with textbooks and stray papers that are left in their places overnight as Will Ricers come together to plot the means to slay the dragons known by name as Orgo, DiffE, CHBE, and other such monstrosities.
If you plan to spend a fair amount of your free time studying (which you must, considering that you're at Will Rice College which consistently maintains the highest cumulative GPA of all the colleges), then you'll no doubt spend some (or a lot of) time in this room. Not to worry - you won't be alone!
Ever heard of a wormhole? It's a rip in the space-time continuum in outer space at the center of a black hole that theoretically (and ironically) preserves the space-time continuum as you travel in time and place. And although scientists have obviously never been able to use a wormhole to carry out time travel and teleportation, Will Ricers have discovered a device eerily similar - the Weiner Hole.
You see, in the Weiner Hole, the space-time continuum breaks, much to your benefit when you have to cram for a test or get some serious work done. The Weiner Hole is a series of three smallish rooms with cubicles, dilapidated desk chairs, couches that have been in residence since the 70s, and of course, absolutely NO windows. So basically, if you enter this room, you're bound to finish your studying/problem set/paper in a ridiculously short amount of time. It's the Weiner Hole phenomenon.
Luckily for you, the Weiner Hole is easily accessible to any Will Ricer who needs to use its magical powers. All you have to do is climb every single set of stairs you see in Old Dorm until you reach the fourth floor. Then open every door you see until you find yourself in the creepiest "lounge" you've ever encountered. Alas - the Weiner Hole. Get 'er done!!!
NOTE: Rumor has it that the Weiner Hole is actually going to be renovated into a completely different type of space. Stay tuned!
Deep in the recesses of Newer Dorm is the Will Rice basement, home to one of Will Rice's most precious beasts of prey - our racing bikes. So precious are these beautiful creatures to our lifestyle that jealous scoundrels from across campus will inevitably strike the Will Rice basement with a Willy Week jack (sooo original of them...). If you ever see rogue invaders attempting to gain access to the basement to attack the precious, just go into Gandalf mode: "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"" Then kick them.
The basement is also home to more boring things, like the boiler room and a helluvalot of storage. But if you're a true Will Ricer, you'll definitely be coming down here at some point during your four years, if anything else to have a look at the bikes or to take them out for a ride - or better yet, sweep a Beer Bike with them!