Moving in with someone during the first year of college usually comes with good and bad memories. Sometimes people become best friends with their roommate or grow to be worst enemies. One VCU student said his roommate experience nearly ruined his first year of college.
Daniel “Danny” DiFabio moved from New Jersey to Richmond, Virginia in 2007 to study at VCU. He was paired with four other roommates in a suite-style dorm in Gladding Residence Center III. One night in early fall, he walked into the lobby and noticed an unusual smell.
“When I got in the elevator it got worse, and when I got to the third floor it was even worse,” said DiFabio.
He opened his door to an unbearable smell and the sight of his roommate passed out drunk in the hallway. The lights were off, and his roommate was blocking the entrance to his bedroom door. DiFabio said he was scared at the time, so he decided to go to security.
“They came upstairs, and the security guard didn’t know know what to do,” DiFabio said. “He finally went in with his walkie-talkie and he started poking my roommate with the antennae.”
Finally, the security guard turned on the lights. The scene DiFabio and the guard witnessed was similar to Eddie Murphy’s experience in the film “Daddy Day Care”: They found DiFabio’s roommate’s feces everywhere.
“It was on the walls, it was on the cabinets and in the carpet,” DiFabio said. “You name a place in my dorm and say ‘Did you look there?’ and I will say ‘Yes, and there was s*** on it.’ It was terrible.”
Next, the security guard got the attention of the Residential Assistant. DiFabio said his RA was upset that he was not alerted before the guard because it was his responsibility. The RA decided to call the police and an ambulance. First responders were able to get his roommate off the floor and into his bed.
“They didn’t do anything about (the mess) really,” DiFabio said. “They put him in his bed, which was covered … and let him sleep in it.”
The next day DiFabio was back in his room doing homework. He said he was curled up in his bed trying not to touch anything. During this time, his roommate brought a friend to the room to witness the mess.
“He was bragging to his friend about the s*** on the floor because it was still there,” DiFabio said. “He covered it up with one of our other roommate’s white towels and stepped right in it.”
DiFabio said he was upset that his roommate was not removed from the dorms. Instead, DiFabio and his other roommates were given the choice to ask the student to leave, or to leave themselves. DiFabio left without hesitation. While he was moving out, cleaning crews tried to erase the damage, which his roommate was forced to pay for.
“For a good week, they were on top of sanitizing the room,” DiFabio said. “But every time I went back there it was still stained to me.”
DiFabio was able to move into a room on the first floor of the residence center. He said he still saw his former roommate once a day, and he continued to hear stories about his roommate’s drunken escapades.
“I think some people are able to get over that kind of stuff,” DiFabio said. “But I’m such a germaphobe … to me there’s always s*** there.”
For DiFabio, the experience nearly destroyed his freshman year of college. He said he felt if the typical student acted like his roommate, then college was not the place for him. Even though he had a negative experience, DiFabio said he was taught a lesson on responsibility.
“One thing I was scared about was going to security and getting people in trouble,” DiFabio said. “Sometimes there are going to be consequences for people, but it’s always beneficial to do the responsible thing.”