Tales from ‘The Jungle’: North residents bond over pranking


New Haven Hall at North Campus residence halls. The building was host to many pranks over the years. (Jackson Haigis/The Daily Campus)

Two weeks ago, I interviewed a former North Campus resident about their experiences living in New Haven Hall, and was treated to a tale of vomit toilets, over the top pranks and other college shenanigans. I then held an interview with Brent Schirmer and Tim Faucett, two fourth-semester students who had lived on the same floor. Their experience was different.      

For one thing, Schirmer and Faucett said they were the ones actually perpetuating the shenanigans.

“There was so much more to the prank war,” Faucett said. “Brent’s roommate took the entire bed– the frame, everything, not just the mattress– and just bunked it in the bathroom.”

The two former floormates can confirm the existence of the vomit toilet, and that it wasn’t always utilized.

“One kid on our floor tried to make it,” said Faucett. “But he didn’t. He puked all over the floor, and he drank a mango/peach vodka thing. It reeked of peachy vodka for awhile. Another kid puked on the staircase, and it covered three floors. We had to call maintenance at 3 in the morning to throw sawdust over it.”

“A solid 90 percent of everyone [on the floor] ended up puking at one point,” said Faucett.

“It’s like a rite of passage,” Schirmer added. “We had a pole of ‘who would puke,’ especially at big events like Halloween and Spring Concert.”

The reasons behind the aforementioned absence of the floor RA was revealed by the pair as well.

“The missing RA, we called him Hershey,” said Faucett. “He was really nice, he’d invite us to campus events and he was super helpful. He was super stressed- one night, he got taken away in a police car, I think he was caught taking Adderall [illegally].”

“He still graduated,” said Schirmer. “I think he was in off-campus housing. We didn’t have an RA for a good month, and lots of stuff happened.”

“Kids would stick mattresses on skateboards,” said Faucett. “They’d ride them down the halls.”

“Someone completely silly-stringed this kid’s room,” he added. “To get back at him, this guy unscrewed the peephole in the door and pushed rotten egg in. They tried to bleach the door, but it still stunk for weeks.”

Despite the escapades, the constant pranks were a way the floormates grew closer.

“It was out of friendship and camaraderie,” said Faucett. “Nobody meant anybody any harm- it was just a way that we bonded.”

“The first weekend, about half the floor hung out together,” said Schirmer. “Everyone came in with the fact that we didn’t know anyone there, so we just all got together. We went to the exhibition soccer game and painted our chests. After the first week, about 3/4 of the kids on our floor became friends. It’s like one big family.”

When one of the students on the floor, Ryan Meegan, died in a car accident in 2015, the former floormates came together again to mourn his death.

“We ended up attending the funeral,” said Faucett. “We sent letters to the parents… we went from not knowing [Ryan] to mourning him in a year.”

Through losses, the friendships both Faucett and Schirmer made lasted through the next year. Though Schirmer currently lives in Northwest, Faucett still lives in North and regularly meets with his old floormates.

“It’s like one big family,” said Schirmer.   

“We still eat together, we still hang out together,” said Faucett. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

“[North] definitely has a legacy. Everyone knows it as the Jungle, but not everyone knows its history. It doesn’t deserve to be torn down,” Faucett said.

“The people make it,” said Schirmer.

Marlese Lessing is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at marlese.lessing@uconn.edu.

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