In the wake of “The Great Housing Crisis of 2019,” panic and complaints spread throughout campus about the poor fate of returning students who planned to live on campus next year. With Lemon Hall’s fall to the custody of the incoming freshmen in place of Jefferson Hall as well as One Tribe Place’s closing, the panic is definitely understandable.
However, returning students have definitely over-exaggerated the problems concerning housing, which shows more about their own negativity than the school’s lack of accommodations.
I will admit that not all dorms are created equal. However, the dorms offered to upperclassmen have their own positives that students refuse to acknowledge. DuPont Hall may have the reputation of being dingy, but it is close to Earl Gregg Swem Library, and many of the rooms have suite bathrooms. Richmond Hall is admittedly extremely far from everything on campus, but the rooms are newly renovated with double beds, and its proximity to Food Lion is a plus.
Upperclassmen hate the idea of living in Jefferson the most, despite that the only real difference between Jefferson and other upperclassmen dorms like Barrett Hall is that the hallways are less aesthetically pleasing. Jefferson is extremely conveniently located, as it is close to Colonial Williamsburg, the Sir Christopher Wren Building and Marketplace, as well as the academic buildings on the Sunken Garden. It is also still fairly close to the Sadler Center, the Integrated Science Center and Swem.
Of course, these options are not as nice as Landrum Hall or Hardy Hall, but that does not mean that the College of William and Mary does not care about students’ needs. The changes to housing are necessary. One Tribe Place needs to be closed for important renovations, apparently for mold, asbestos and structural issues.
All of these problems are urgent, and if the College was to ignore them, students would complain about their lack of concern for student wellbeing. Similarly, Lemon is now to house freshmen in order to increase accessibility. Students also criticize the College for not listening to students’ needs through Student Accessibility Services as well as the Counseling Center, but now that the College has responded to the needs of incoming freshmen, the school supposedly does not care about any of the students. Students criticize the College for the supposedly poor conditions that upperclassmen must endure, but this is a ridiculous overreaction.
Dorm life may not be perfect, but at the end of the day, it is never advertised as perfect. I have heard students complain about the money that they pay to come to school here, as if that money does not go towards classes, professors and other opportunities long before it goes toward housing. Students attend college for the education and overall experience, not because their room is comparable to a five-star hotel.
On a similar note, students like to complain about housing here as if other schools have perfect housing plans, and the College is the only place where students are left wishing for better room options. Some schools cannot guarantee housing for more than one or two years, and others cannot guarantee air conditioning to upperclassmen, which are two positives to housing here at the College.
Students here are promised housing for at least three years, and all upperclassmen dorms have air conditioning. I do agree that housing selection can seem unfair and stressful at times, but students should take a step back and look at the big picture before complaining relentlessly for weeks about how much the College hates its students.