The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

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Bucknell’s housing, or rather, lack of housing

The spring semester is almost over, classes are wrapping up and the cherry blossoms are fully blooming. The weather is warming up and we can see summer on the horizon. Everything is perfect… unless your housing slot was anything but the first time on the first day. Bucknell is experiencing an epidemic of poor housing and a poor selection system. Housing, as per usual, was a mess this year and left some upset with what they got stuck with. On top of that, Bucknell housing is simply not created equal. 

One issue with housing is how many people we can pull into a housing group. Should we be able to select housing for three people if we’re not all sharing a room? For instance, when students pull up friends into their time slot to get a group of singles, they end up blocking other students out of the most desirable housing. But is this fair? Should we be able to give more people earlier time slots if we’re not sharing a room with them and all living alone? I’d say that it’s tricky.

On the one hand, they aren’t rooming together, so why can they all be in the excellent time slot to get singles? On the other hand, people want to live near their friends and blocking singles is a reasonable way to have your space while still being close to your friends. If I had to propose an amendment, I would say that if planning to block single dorms, you should only be allowed to pull up one person. That way, you’re not alone while also not screwing over others by pulling up a bunch of people. Being able to pull up 2-3 others is fine if you’re all planning on sharing a room, such as a two-double suite or a quad, but it creates housing chaos when everyone is blocking singles.

Bucknell needs to recognize that there are very few places we can live if not on campus. We don’t live in a big city, so we can’t just get apartments close to school; we don’t have that luxury. Bucknell needs to make sure that they have housing available to all students who want to live on campus, and no, the hotel doesn’t count. Many students are waitlisted and therefore don’t even have a designated place to live yet. This can lead students to have a lot of anxiety because they don’t know where they are going to live or what kind of options they’ll have when they eventually do get housed. The housing insecurity on campus is ridiculous for such an affluent school. 

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Another housing issue around campus is dorm pricing: not all dorms are created equal, so should we pay equally? The only difference in pricing is if rooms have AC or not. For instance, an air-conditioned triple costs $3,983, while a non-air-conditioned triple costs $3,734. That is only a $249 difference. So, you are paying basically the same price, regardless of room quality. Having to pay essentially the same price for an extremely luxurious and renovated dorm versus a dorm that doesn’t have AC and has paint peeling off is hardly fair. The disparities in dorms are insane and the pricing being the same is ridiculous. A single in Trax should not cost the same as one in Larison. Furthermore, dorm amenities are vastly different. Looking at the Harris common room versus the Roberts common room, you will think you are at two different schools. Other amenities, such as bathrooms and kitchens, are also highly varied. Roberts, for example, has kitchens on every floor, whereas a building like Swartz only has one communal kitchen. You are paying the same price for things that are not equal in quality. 

Lastly, over-enrollment of new students leads to a lack of living space for students. Bucknell’s class sizes keep growing, with the class of 2027 having the highest commitment and attendance rate at 1,030 students. Every year, the class sizes grow, and Bucknell doesn’t have the infrastructure to accommodate all these students. Bucknell either needs to keep up with the housing demands of all the students it is admitting or stop accepting as many students. 

Overall, the housing process never seems to work out as well as it should. Many very upset students still need to figure out what they will do next year for housing. The housing options are poor and few options are off campus. How will Bucknell keep up with the demand for (adequate) housing? We’ll have to wait and see.

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