As the semester draws to a close, everyone is scurrying to figure out their summer plans. Over 160 students have already decided to spend their summers working on campus. This includes research opportunities, working in Dillin Hall or working for multiple offices across campus.
Getting a campus job is often like hitting the jackpot. A student needs to only work 20 hours a week to be able to live on campus for free. Some students ultimately decide to work on campus because of the free room and board. When students are hired, they are often excited to work hard and live somewhat comfortably.
However, many of these students were shocked this year when they were assigned to live with strangers in dorms. The options for summer housing were incredibly limited and even upperclassmen were assigned to live in Potter Hall and Frerichs Hall. Upperclassmen especially expected more apartment options to be available.
“We have a large number of graduating seniors and soon to be seniors that are requesting summer housing. In the past, we have had students who are currently living in suburb housing that will live in a residence hall for the summer. We do not have enough apartment housing to house all suburb eligible students in the suburbs for the summer,” said Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life Jeff Mackay via email to students registering for summer housing.
The email was sent late on Sunday night before registration the next day, leaving students with less than 24 hours to figure out their backup options. The chaos at registration showed that people were ill-informed about summer housing. Students who originally wanted to live in a double apartment were scurrying to find a third roommate in order to just live in a triple in the dorms. Either way, students seem to have felt completely out of the loop.
Some of the students at summer housing registration were asking why the Hewlett Packard Park Apartments were not an option for summer housing.
These apartments would easily fit four students and even strangers would be happy to live together because each apartment would have separate rooms. Mackay and others at registration said that the HP Park Apartments were not an option since they house visitors during conferences and camps, which bring in revenue for the college during the summer.
While this is a necessary source of income, students were still upset that their needs were not being prioritized. One student asked why just one HP couldn’t be open for students. This would create a lot of extra housing and provide more opportunities for students to live in apartments.
Even though students are receiving free housing, it still would have been nice to know in advanced that housing options were so limited. Housing is often a factor when deciding where to stay over the summer and for that reason, students should have received the email about summer housing weeks in advanced rather than the night before registration. This would eliminate confusion and give students the opportunity to evaluate their summer job choices.
-The Review Editorial Board