Under the Button is part of a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

ROTC Student Willing to Go to War but Won't Shave in Quad Showers


Photo by John Pellino of West Point / Public Domain Mark 1.0

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) students have to balance military training, physical exercise, and maintaining excellence in their classes. They must be determined enough to endure the grueling schedule and brave enough to eventually be sent to the next oil-rich country. 

For College freshman Jasmine Williamson (known as Skull Crusher by her fellow platoon mates for her mixed martial arts prowess), the life of a part-time officer in training has become fairly normal. She wakes up every day at 4:30 a.m., runs five miles, and then returns to campus for her daily physical training before going about her day in uniform.

Williamson isn't afraid of much — she's taken multiple courses in battlefield combat and has developed an understanding of the horrors of war, but she still can't overcome the most gruesome and terrifying experience a person living in the Quad must face: shaving

“I don’t mess with that stuff,” she said, shuddering. “I’ll do a ten-mile run in full uniform, but do you know what’s on the walls of those showers? Neither do I, and I’m not about to risk it.”

Other members of Williamson’s hall agree with her decision of avoiding shaving in the Quad showers. 

Mara Smith (E ’22) recalled that the unsanitary shower walls were the last straw. “Once I saw part of the wall peel off and start moving, I started shaving in my room," she said.

Williamson promised that she will shave in the Quad showers before the end of the year, but added that she will bring her fellow ROTC members with her, saying "one of the first things they taught us is that the team is far stronger than the individual."

Even if she is unable to conquer this final obstacle, Williamson will still face the equally-daunting freshman challenges of eating at Commons, braving the high rise wind tunnel, and having the “what are we” conversation with her occasional hookup.