Many aspects of the University of Richmond have changed over the years, but regardless of the decade in which students attend, they have used “life hacks” to get through college by benefiting from loopholes, using a strategic shortcut or being savvy in order to increase efficiency in some way.  

These hacks tend to vary based on university policy and standards at the time, but it is clear that when the university changes, students change with it. 

Patrick Campbell, '95, described the lack of air conditioning in dormitories on campus during his college career. In order to choose their rooms earlier than their original time slot, students would get notes signed by their doctors saying they had allergies, which required them to pick better rooms to reside in, Campbell said. 

“I personally never tried that one, but a lot of people had allergists on campus during that time,” he said. 

Campbell also spoke about how different it was to access the Heilman Dining Center while he attended the university. Students would get their parents to sign them up for the 19-meal dining plan at the beginning of the semester, and then after two weeks they would go to the administrative desk and ask for a refund on the meal plan. Students would say it was because they lived in the apartments and could cook, then they would give them the money back in cash, Campbell said. 

“It was around $800 and whether you told your parents or not, well, that was up to you. I know I didn’t!” Campbell said. “I know I know guys who used that money for spring break. It definitely helped me with my trip to Key West.” 

For food, Campbell and his friends would then swap each other's cards that did have meal plans and take turns going into the dining hall to eat. They would look up the menu for the week and decide the best days to go, he said. 

"If you had a study group meet in the dining hall, they normally let you in easily," Campbell said. "These study groups met often." 

In a similar fashion, Makay Carlino, ’10, would over-tip waiters and waitresses at The Cellar and get part of the tip back in cash from the server when the servers had been paid. 

Students have also continued from Carlino’s time on campus to today to save their dining dollars in preparation for beach week to buy food and supplies to take. Carlino would also take toilet paper from Tyler Haynes Commons or Boatwright Memorial Library to have extra in the apartment or dormitory, Carlino said. 

Today, there is an Instagram account called “@dhallhacks” that was created in 2015, on which students can post their creative dishes made in the dining hall, including pizza bagels, rice Krispies treats and ice cream sandwiches. 

Another hack? Senior Natalie Schiano knows that the Curriculum Materials Center located in North Court charges only one print credit for color printing, compared to 10 print credits in other locations, because of a glitch within the system that was never rectified. 

Contact senior features writer Louise Howorth at louise.howorth@richmond.edu.