Dorm Dive: Phil Koshy

Former resident and current RA Phil Koshy continues a Willets Legacy

Phil Koshy, a two-year RA in Willets and three-year resident of the dorm, sits atop his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bedspread holding his Lion King pillow. (Sera Jeong/The Phoenix)

Senior Philip Koshy is a seasoned resident and dedicated advocate of Willets. The biology major and psychology minor has lived on the second floor of Willets for three consecutive years, two of which were as a Residential Advisor. He is currently an RA on the south side of the second floor, a living arrangement with which he is perfectly content.

Koshy’s repeated residency in Willets began during his sophomore year. According to Koshy, his living in Willets allowed him to befriend many more students in his year, as well as incoming first-years. “I really came into my own, socially,” he said. The social aspect of Willets especially appealed to Koshy, which prompted him to return as an upperclassman, albeit as a RA.

Willets presents the opportunity to socialize and meet people outside his year, according to Koshy. The dormitory is comprised primarily of underclassmen; Koshy’s residents are made up of twenty sophomores, eight freshmen and less than a handful of juniors. Koshy attributes the young population of Willets to giving the dormitory a reputation for being the most social one on campus, as he believes freshmen are more inclined to inhabit their dormitories than the libraries. “Freshmen are down to hang out, and sophomores too,” Koshy said.

There are many perks to living in Willets, according to Koshy. Some benefits include the “phenomenal water pressure” of the showers, and the occupancy of seven RAs, which is handy for residents in the event they are locked out of their rooms. Willets, one of the largest dormitories on campus, pools together many students’ skills and resources. Koshy recalls resolving an incident when he returned to the dormitory one weekend at 3 a.m. Koshy found an uprooted Japanese cherry blossom sapling on the stairwell, surprising him. Uncannily, a resident on the first floor was able to settle the situation as he had worked for the Scott Arboretum. The resident had the expertise to promptly re-plant the sapling by making a water-well outside. “This [situation] would only happen because of the high confluence of different people [in Willets],” Koshy said.

Yet the stereotype that Willets is a less-than-desirable dormitory persists and for good reason, according to Koshy. He admits the facilities could be better maintained. “There’s the quintessential Willets smell. Even if you were blindfolded and somebody led you here, you’d know you were in Willets,” he said. Koshy recollected the bathroom ceiling once collapsing on a resident while he was using the toilet. “It’s seen better days for sure,” Koshy said. Willets is also stereotyped as being lively during the weekends, which Koshy doesn’t repudiate. “On a typical Willets weekend you’re going to hear bumping music … it’s pretty rambunctious,” he said. However, Koshy’s residents comply with quiet hours and are well behaved, for the most part. “[Willets South 2nd] hasn’t had as many puke incidents as we did last year or the year before,” he said.

Although the hall life of Willets may be rowdy, Koshy has created a homely, relaxing abode out of his room. The many comforts and amenities of his room include a coffee table, a fondue maker and various potted plants. Koshy also has a sizeable futon, which he uses to relax on by dimming the lights and listening to music. He has more housewares in his room such as an ironing board. “I have a lot of stuff,” said Koshy. Although the ironing board is not usually found in many students’ possession, it has served him and his senior friends well this year in preparing for job interviews. He evokes his childhood with his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bedspread and Lion King pillow. “This is the closest thing I have to a Blankie,” he said.

Koshy has created a comfortable atmosphere in his room, allowing him to obtain “me-time” in such a populated and social dormitory. He said of his room, “It’s almost a bastion of solitude sometimes.” An immense fabric depiction of Shiva, the model ascetic in Hinduism, covers his closet. The representation of Shiva renouncing the world resonated with Koshy, who purchased the fabric covering during his sophomore year when he was taking many religion classes.

The adornments on the walls of Koshy’s room evidence his interests. An old-school Star Wars poster and DVD covers testify his love of sci-fi books and movies. Koshy, who co-hosts the WSRN show “Dubhouse,” which plays dubstep and house, regularly attends concerts, as reflected by ticket stubs plastered on the wall beside his bed. His highly personalized and meaningfully decorated room acts as a space for Koshy to do work as well as chill out. “Since there are so many people in Willets, sometimes you need a break from it all,” he said.

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