I’m now a senior and I have been fortunate to spend two of my years here living in suites – one of them in Towers and the other in Phase. Each year I noticed something about both the suites I was living in as well those of others. There was typically someone in the suite that nobody really liked.
How does this disliked person end up living in the suite? Well, the seed is generally planted early the year before. The “Sixth Man,” as we’ll call him, begins the year as an unknown. You meet him one night and he somehow, around 3 a.m. he coaxes you into making an oral contract promising that you will live together next year. This is well before anyone else is thinking about housing.
You don’t hang out with the Sixth Man for much of the year and then all of a sudden it’s housing time. You have your suite all figured out, when suddenly the Sixth Man pops out of a bush somewhere around the Georgen Athletic Center. Surprise, surprise, he has the form already filled out with his name on it. You feel guilty, so you have to nix the person you actually want in your suite and accommodate the Sixth Man.
Nevertheless, you have had relatively little contact with the Sixth Man, so you figure it can work out okay. He seems nice enough, right? Wrong!
The number one trait of the Sixth Man is his relentless theft – never of valuable items, just annoying ones. For instance, he may drink all of your milk while you are gone. You may think you have lost your vacuum for a few months only to find that it is cleverly hidden in the Sixth Man’s room. The Sixth Man never owns up to his thievery. He always has some excuse along the lines of, “I don’t know how that got there – people are hanging out in my room all the time.” He may also go as far as to plant some of his items in your room, typically things no one would actually want like a nail clipper. Then, in an effort to rally the suite against you, he will come in and complain about how he hasn’t been able to cut his nails and how he cannot believe that you used his nail trimmer.
Aside from stealing, the Sixth Man also tries to have heart to heart talks with you at incredibly inappropriate times. You may be on the phone with your sick grandmother or frantically trying to write a 20 page paper. Of course, he is oblivious to what you are doing and is focused on his need to “chill” with you. And by “chill” he means bother you with loaded questions aimed at allowing him to disclose his various life issues such as how his parents would never let him lock his door.
Socially, the Sixth Man will typically try to sidle in to almost any activity in the suite, even if it’s studying for a class that he is not taking. He usually has one fairly sketchy friend who is constantly over, but who never introduces himself to anyone in the suite. If any major valuables are stolen, it can most likely be linked to the sketchy friend.
Lastly, the Sixth Man leads a filthy lifestyle. If you wake up and find your common room trashed, odds are it was the Sixth Man and his shady friend. He will, of course, deny that it was him and refuse to clean the suite, once again citing the nail clipper incident.
Whenever there is a need for a suite meeting or cleaning, you will generally find him absent, but will leave a note such as, “Sorry guys, I had to go out to eat with my dad” even if his dad is clearly not in town.
Freshman, you may not believe me, but just wait until the housing lottery this year. Keep your eyes on the bushes outside Georgen, because you may have forgotten the oral agreement you made during orientation, but the Sixth Man has not.
Rosen can be reached at