Room draw has always been a nightmare. Every year hearts are broken, years-long friendships are ended in a flood of tears and you walk out disappointed and full of CVS candy. The general disappointment and frustration with Residential Life is nothing new for the student body. Two years ago, in order to combat the perceived housing shortage, Dean Torin Moore announced his supposedly exciting initiative to move students to Alpine Commons, an apartment complex a mile away from campus. Only two students moved in the following year. Two years before that, the “trailers” (Plaza and Waldorf) were used as first-year housing despite their isolation from the rest of campus and generally abysmal living conditions.
Recently, lack of communication from Residential Life has continued to frustrate students. Over this past summer, people who stayed on campus to work or do research were subjected to a series of last-minute moves. For some students, this happened not once but several times: from the Triangle to the Hill and back again. While Res Life explained that these moves were due to recently scheduled painting or construction work, students that complained to facilities found that the work had been scheduled in April or May, with plenty of available time to inform students. The massive inconvenience and disturbance caused to these students was simply due to the disorganization of the office over the summer. Regardless of the fact that positions, including Dean Moore’s, were changing, this lack of communication is inexcusable.
Another more recent example of Res Life frustration has been the lack of information surrounding construction and general maintenance of the dorms during the year. When choosing a dorm for our next year, we want to analyze our potential square footage, our view and where the water fountains are, among other factors. Over the past few weeks, residents of King and Wieland, two of the most desirable dorms for seniors, have been subjected to loud construction and a 10-foot fence around what used to be the Sabrina quad. Many residents have expressed frustration at being woken up in the mornings and distracted in the afternoons, as well as being unable to use their quad.
Much like Val, our Res Life department has been the subject of ridicule and ire across the divisions of the student body. There are massive changes on the horizon: the socials are coming down, and new dorms that could become the center of our social scene will go up in the next two years. With the lack of communication and frustration we’ve experienced as a student body, it’s hard to express full confidence in our Office of Student Affairs in general, much less Residential Life.
However, with our new associate director, Corry Colona, and other new hires and the changes being made in the Office of Student Affairs, there may be a light at the end of the socials. Colona has promised to take on issues of reimbursement and dorm damage, for starters. The new positions ultimately prove that Res Life and the Office of Student Affairs are committed to a new vision for how we live on campus. In the end, all we can hope for is more involvement from the office and more communication with us.