No.1 worst dorms: not a shock to students
Last week, The Register-Guard ran a reaction piece to an article in our Back to the Books issue. Mike Eyster, director of University Housing, essentially ballyhooed the less-than-scientific method used by the Princeton Review to rank the residence halls at the University as No. 1 in the “Dorms Like Dungeons” category. Scientific or not, – it’s true.
Every year, people find out, once again, that the residence halls aren’t worth the ridiculous rates charged. And what was this “wincing” in the Guard article when we published the Princeton Review’s results? Is the Housing Department surprised? Has anything really changed since last year?
University Housing claimed that students generally seem positive on the
more detailed surveys they collect. However, these surveys are deceptively precise in their questioning. Sure, Princeton
Review’s poll questions are broad – but that’s what people look at when they
want an overview of a school’s housing experience.
Does anyone care that the food is decent, or the maintenance people are friendly when you find yourself living in a frigid, 148-square-foot shoebox with inadequate storage space, a dearth of power outlets, one microwave for 80 people and a roommate who has nothing in common with you?
Don’t piss on our legs and tell us it’s raining. Prefabricated concrete slab walls accented with heavy masonry and tiny prison-like windows may have been all the rage during the Eisenhower administration, they are a bit outdated today.
We know Housing is building a new residence hall complex, and it’s going to be lovely and wonderful because it will be wired from top to bottom, and the toilets will always smell like roses.
But will the Living Learning Center
become the next Barnhart – yet another fancy residence hall for athletes and
the students willing to pay top dollar for the amenities, like floor space, that other colleges offer? The new complex should be reserved for the average student,
who nowadays gets crammed into Bean Complex.
These are the people who deserve the extra architectural elements designed to foster community because these are the students closest to what residential halls are supposed to embody – a mixed bag of people from every conceivable background coming together to build a community from scratch.