TCNJ Cribs / Dorm Deco

Surprising as it may be, stepping into a small room with white cement walls, yellow closet doors and a stranger as a roommate doesn’t always provide first-year students with the home-like feeling that they’ve grown used to living in. However, for two freshmen in Wolfe Hall, “home is where the heart is.”

Winning the first ever TCNJ Cribs contest, roommates Gail Schulman, open options humanities and social sciences major, and Kate Caratenuto, communication studies major, both decorated their room with inspiration from home.

Residents from Decker, Ely and Centennial personally decorate their dorm rooms for the TCNJ Cribs competition, hoping to win the grand prize. Cribs / Students show off interior decorating (Photo courtesy of TCNJ Cribs Facebook)

“I always bring my paintings wherever I go,” Schulman said. “We both happened to decorate our sides in a way where it just worked, the great thing is that it feels at home whenever either of us walk into our room.”

The contest was co-sponsored by the Residence Hall Association and sophomore marketing major Monique Boskett of the Sophomore Advisory Board.

“Our plan was to have the contest so that people could not only show off their room but so they could also see how they could decorate their room,” said Boskett, who also ran the TCNJ Cribs Facebook page. “On top of that, we figured it would help people who didn’t know what certain residence halls looked like and to see where they could be living.”

Several submissions were sent in and judged by the residential education and housing professional staff for the first round. The winners of each residence hall were picked and given a gift certificate to Target.

The second round consisted of a display of each residence hall winner’s pictures on the Facebook page. 40 percent of the vote was based on the amount of “likes” the pictures received and 60 percent of the vote was from the residential directors in order to make sure the process was fair, according to Boskett.

Several of the contestants had creative rooms, including mood lighting for every occasion in the Townhouses and a poker table in Centennial Hall.

The winning room was favored with its creativity and was highlighted by Caratenuto’s newspaper cutout letters spelling out, “For in our dreams we enter a world that is entirely our own.”

“The quote took me a while,” Caratenuto said. “But in the end, it’s my favorite addition to our room.”

As the first ever TCNJ Cribs contest wrapped up for the year, Schulman and Caratenuto happily accepted their first place prizes of iPod Nanos.

“It felt absolutely awesome,” Schulman said on the feeling of winning. “We’re both pretty psyched, and hey, what’s not to love about a free iPod?”