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Resident Students Want More “Homey” Living Arrangements

Genna Apfel

College. When you hear that word, so many thoughts may come to your mind.  Greek life, new friends, parties, or, perhaps, a chance to live on your own are just a few of those thoughts. Speaking of your own personal freedom, living on campus can be exciting and new, but C.W. Post students are not always happy with the dorm buildings they live in.

There are many dorm buildings to choose from, but they are not all the same and cannot always accommodate all of your basic needs to live comfortably. For example, most students understand that they are not living in a five-star luxury hotel and that not all the residential buildings allow students to control their own heat and air conditioning. Residential buildings, such as Brookville Hall and the South Residence Complexes, also known as the suites, are two buildings that do have their own thermostats, where you have opportunity to adjust the temperature for a warm or cold atmosphere. The quads, including Kings, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk, as well as Post Hall and Riggs Hall, do not have this option.

Amanda Randazzo,  a sophomore Italian education major, stayed overnight at her friend’s dorm in the suites. Randazzo said, “It was the beginning of the semester, and  it was really hot out, so my friend put the thermostat on 62 degrees. Even though I woke up the next morning with frost bite, I was happy to be cold and bundle[d] up in sweatshirts, rather than sleeping in a room with no airconditioning or a tiny fan. This is one of the reasons I do not live on campus because I know I am not always going to get a dorm I can be comfortable in.”

Many students feel that if one or two dorms have their own thermostats, then the rest of the dorms should as well. William Kirker, the director of  facilities services, and Gina Bigelow, the associate director of public relations, said, “In terms of students’ concerns about having the ability to control thermostats in individual rooms, it is important to know that residence hall buildings were constructed with HVAC systems that do not allow for independent control. To address this would be cost-prohibitive and would require spending millions of dollars.”

Randazzo’s experiences raise the question of whether or not dorm buildings need to be updated or renovated. Although you may have heard the saying that size and looks are not everything, they are, apparently, when it comes to living on campus.  Aside from the suites, not all dorm buildings have the same size rooms. For instance, you may be put in a typical double or get lucky and feel as if you just won the jackpot and get a corner room, which happens to supply more room because it’s typically wider. Some dorms have carpet in them, whereas other students may be forced to buy a rug because the hard floor itself can get dirty and can be uncomfortable to walk on.

Kirker and Bigelow also responded and said, “This summer, Facilities  Services will renovate bathrooms in the red and green areas of the South Residence Complex. In addition, all rooms in the green section will be painted, and all carpets will be removed and replaced with tile flooring. In Brookville Hall, three bathrooms will be completely renovated in the north wing, as well as 50 rooms in Queens and Suffolk halls, which includes freshly-applied paint, removal of carpet, and new furniture. Lastly, Riggs Hall will receive a new entrance staircase and a handicapped ramp.”

Then again, the issue of furniture may get in your way…literally. Not all dorms allow students to re-arrange their rooms as they would like to. For instance, some students bunk their beds to try to have more room for a television or even a video game area. Also, movable furniture allows students to change the room up by moving their dressers and desks to make the room more spacious and for a more homey feeling.

Some students also want the dorms to be updated so each building can include a kitchen area, not just a microwave. Due to the fact that microwaves are prohibited in a student’s room, they are located on the bottom floor. Some students become frustrated because they do not want to carry their food  downstairs just to simply heat it up.  This may involve a student having to stop what they are doing and put on appropriate clothing to go down and microwave, because who knows who they will run into? Sam Tenadu III, a senior environmental science major, chose to live in Post Hall because the microwaves are on each floor, as well as the laundry machines.

A student who chooses not to have his name mentioned, strongly believes the  chool should enforce the smoking policy. This student said, “I live in Brookkville Hall, and every night, my room stinks like cigarettes, even when my window is closed. I can’t sleep, and I can’t breathe. It is not right for people who are trying to sleep [and] do work, and [it is] inconsiderate for those who have asthma or simply cannot stand the smell.”

Staying clean and, at least, trying to be germ-free is another issue students  truggle with. Some bathrooms are newer that others, and, at this point, the only thing students can do is pray that the janitors will try their best to keep them clean. Some students claim the bathrooms have mold and bugs on the ceilings and the toilets are not always clean. Chelsea Serra, a sophomore enviormental science major, has quite a lot to say. Serra says, “I live in Suffolk, and the bathrooms are gross and disgusting; a renovation is desperately needed.” She continued, “The sinks are all different; only a few of them get hot water. Most of the  doors on the stalls in the bathroom do not lock, and the toilets are [the] oldest on campus, where only a few of them are non-automatic.” A majority of students may have similar living conditions to Serra’s. “Make the school renovate the bathroom,” Serra added.

Facilities Services has not been made aware of mold and bugs nor of a hot water malfunction. The department claims bathrooms are vigorously cleaned daily, and it is committed to providing a welcoming and clean environment for all resident students.

People are not always going to be happy with what they have in life and, sometimes, have to make the best of each situation. The question is, if so many  students pay thousands of dollars to live on campus, why can’t dorms be updated and renovated to make students happier, instead of dealing with problems over and over again that seem to never change?

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