LaTischa Franzmeier, Staff Writer
The Geek Cave is a common space in the basement of Dorland, open to anyone who fosters “geeky” proclivities. Urban Dictionary defines “geek” as “the people you pick on in high school and wind up working for as an adult.”
“The Geek Cave is awesome,” said senior Josh Carpenter, giving an enthusiastic thumbs up.
Technicolor murals splash across once white walls, paintings and craft projects cover every surface and there is an impressive variety of lava lamps. Six people gathered in the Cave, sitting on stacks of cushions or on the slightly moldering couch.
“It’s one of the few community spaces that are smaller and intimate,” said senior Molly Herold, a long-time denizen of Dorland basement.
Aside from aesthetic pleasure and a close- knit community, the Geek Cave offers a vast Star Trek collection, VHS-player, an XBox 360, a computer for console gaming and its own wireless router. Duck Tales, The Land Before Time and Teenage Mutant Turtles have an obvious following, as does Final Fantasy VII – there is a replica of the Buster Sword hanging on the wall. There is also a possum puppet dangling from the ceiling by his tail with an kangaroo matroyshka doll shoved up its behind.
“It’s like having a cool, nerdy, basement,” said junior Paul Eaton with a smile.
But once upon a time, the Geek Cave was not so comfortable.
When senior Mikel Oboyski was a freshman he was drawn to the Geek Cave, a then dusty computer graveyard filled with spare parts and boffer swords. Oboyski slowly converted it into the space it is today. Collecting geeky goodies from their own purchases and Free Store finds, Oboyski and his friends have created a place where any student can come to “geek out.”
In order to gain access to the Cave, one only has to sign in with the RA on duty and ask for the key. However, this has become difficult. Over Thanksgiving Break, someone got into the Geek Cave and damaged the space.
“Someone was burning incense in here and the fire alarms went off for the whole building,” Oboyski said.
This person did not have permission to be in the Cave, and much was damaged or stolen. Also, many fire code violations were found during the fire safety checks that followed.
The Geek Cave was promptly closed. But on Feb. 15 the Geek Cave re-opened and every following Tuesday has been dubbed “Star Trek Night.” All students are invited to attend. The event begins at 8 p.m. and continues as long as the snacks hold out. Otherwise, the key check-out system is still in place. Of course, there are rules to be followed when using the space. When asked what the most important are, the clamor was unanimous: Don’t unplug anything.
“People are devoted to the Geek Cave,” said senior Charlotte Mitchell. “They care about it, which is something rare that you don’t usually see with college communal spaces.”