Theophilus Tower is a landmark of the University of Idaho campus and home to Neely Hall residents. Neely Hall makes up the first three floors of the Tower and is home to engineering and computer science students.
On the second floor, an all-male hall, the doors are always open and the students are out and about socializing between homework and study sessions. Almost everyone smiles and waves at people as they pass through, sometimes even shouting greetings from opposite corners of the floor.
Eric Weimer an environmental engineering student said that he enjoys living on the second floor.
“Everyone is really social,” Weimer said.
Throughout the day, he said the residents tag team blasting their music–“The Fox” by Ylvis being the most played track. Weimer said he has a portable vinyl record player that he brings to the lounge where some residents and friends dance or sing along.
The residents use their common area as a hallway, a place to relax and more importantly a place to play “Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Zombies.”
During the day, it is almost a guarantee that there will be someone in the lounge playing Call of Duty or solving a Rubik’s Cube–sometimes both at the same time, Weimer said.
More and more students on the second floor are learning the algorithms to solve the cubed puzzle.
Students who are not inclined to play Zombies or those that are on the waiting list can be found playing card games and studying. There is also a late night game of the board game Munchkin, every once in a while, Weimer said.
There is a strong sense of community among the second floor engineers, he said. On a regular basis, they group together in the lounge before heading to Bob’s for lunch or dinner. No one ever goes to eat by themselves.
Neely Hall residents also do other activities as a floor, such as Ultimate Frisbee, Paint the Palouse and trips to the Farmers Market, Weimer said.
Some students from the third floor of the Tower have migrated down to the second floor along with students from the Wallace Residence Complex. Ashley Cannon, a Wallace resident, said she visits the floor regularly to hang out and to study chemical engineering homework.
Rachel Falzon, a Wallace resident, said she goes to just relax with friends.
Falzon said that she enjoyed the fact that she could be on the floor for just a few minutes before being invited on an excursion to Bob’s or downtown.
“I like it on the second floor,” Cannon said. “Everyone is open and welcoming.”
The second floor boys make their hall a true home away from home for anyone that decides to visit.
Claire Whitley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org