Dorm History

Mark Rapacioli '87:

in all the histories I've ever read about Random Hall, one fact always seems to be missing. In 1987, one "Dr Pepper", disguised as mild-mannered Random Hall resident Mark Rapacioli (me), won Ugliest Man On Campus. My picture, along with about $80 worth of empty Dr Pepper cans, appeared in the Tech. I tried to locate it on the Tech's web site, but they are missing all the issues from that year. I can't remember how much I raised, but it was to benefit some Boy Scout scholarship or something like that. Maybe some APO member from that time, like Lori Andersen (nee Aronson), can verify this information.

Another little-known fact: sometime in '86 or '87, Random Hall made Nelson and Winnie Mandela honorary dormitory residents. Again, this appeared in the Tech as a letter to the editor from Andy MacDonald '88.

Also in '86 or '87, some dorm residents tried to eliminate the house tutors. That met with a lot of resistance from the "silent majority" (people who never attend house meetings) and from the administration. The "Dump the Tutors" attempt was quickly put to rest.

About a year later, there was also a "Dump the Ship" movement, by residents who wanted a new official logo. Stalwart traditionalists, joined by die-hard Molson drinkers, wanted to keep the blue ship. Maverick, well-rounded underclassmen wanted a new-wave logo. As I remember, the votes kept coming out tied, we held a couple of noisy (and quite humorous) caucuses, and eventually the tie was broken when a latecomer arrived -- and voted to keep the ship.

One of the happiest moments in dorm history came with the reappearance of Random Hall D-League Ice Hockey in '86. After a few years without a team, we managed to put together a rag-tag bunch of non-skaters. It only took a few games to win one -- an 11-0 drubbing against a team from Burton-Connor (Connor 4, I believe). Tim "Gretzky" Steele scored four goals in that memorable game, while Amy Chu started an impressive intramural medical history by spraining her knee.

The strangest moment while I was there was when a freshman (I can't remember her name) couldn't get into the dorm she chose. Over the next two days, she got put into limbo, got housed temporarily in Random, got placed in Random permanently, then got cold feet and withdrew from school.

Without a doubt, the saddest moment in the time I lived at Random was the passing of one of our residents, John Bucsela, in '83 or '84. I did not know him very well, but I had met him a couple of times. I believe he had some sort of congenital heart defect. People like Jon Singer, Bill Hoston, or Mike Jones should know more about it.


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