In keeping with the holiday season, Wharton and Engineering senior Jon Bloom and his roommates put up Christmas lights in their High Rise North window. But the message they spelled out does not exactly spread goodwill -- "HRS SUX," it reads. The 20th floor windows face High Rise South and the message is aimed toward the building on the other side of Locust Walk. College senior Kabir Akhtar, who lives next door to Bloom, said he and his friends believe that High Rise North is the best dormitory in Superblock, far superior to High Rise South. "We take pride in our building," Akhtar said. "I mean, hell, we face the other way, we got cable first and the other one is just so damn ugly." Bloom, however, said he and his roommates were motivated by more practical concerns. "We were basically looking for a new, innovative way to procrastinate," Bloom said. "We don't think there is enough tension on campus and we are also trying to start a rivalry between the high rises." Akhtar said he has been living in HRN for three years and has become extremely attached to it. "We're too lazy to move off campus," he added. "We thought we'd stick with this building -- it's been good to us." Akhtar said he and his neighbors conceived of the idea for the message last year, but never got around to actually putting it together. But this year, one of Bloom's roommates went to CVS and bought 550 lights in order to complete the prank. "We have kind of a warped sense of what's cool and what to do with our time," Akhtar said. No Christmas light messages have appeared on the north side of HRS as of yet, but the roommates said they would welcome any response that might be posted and would even consider teaming up with HRS against HRE in a small match of Christmas light warfare. "We've been hoping to start a little fight," Akhtar said. "We've been looking and no one has put up anything worthwhile. If they do say High Rise North sucks, then maybe the two of us can get together and gang up on High Rise East." The spirited students said they are considering changing the message every night, especially since they are seeing other students looking at their window daily. One message they are considering is "O.J. did it." "I think it's awesome," said College sophomore Ruby Arguilla, who ran full speed across the grass in front of HRN in order to read the message. "It's so true." HRS resident Graham Dickson said he does not take offense to the message. "It's amusing," the Engineering sophomore said. "It's in the holiday spirit, I guess." He added that if he had a lot of time and the necessary lights, he might try to launch a defensive message. "But I'm on a low floor so I don't think I'd bother," Dickson said. And Residential Living Director Gigi Simeone, who has not seen the display, said the students are not violating any rules of Residential Living. "I don't think that if they're in their room, the lights themselves should be a problem," she said.
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