Senior dorms: an uphill battle

GIllian Feehan, Contributing Writer

As you may or may not know, campus recently broke ground on four new apartment-style dorms for junior and senior students. While new housing is definitely needed on campus, senior housing should not be uphill. Since senior housing will be available uphill beginning in August 2015, the University needs to strongly consider making some changes in order to make uphill living a safe and fun experience for seniors.

Many students look forward to living downtown their senior year, and seniors that cannot or do not want to live in downtown houses often choose to live in the Gateways instead. Unfortunately, seniors living uphill won’t live near some of their friends, and the new senior housing is going to be pretty far from the bar and other local hangouts compared to downtown houses or the Gateways. The University should consider providing transportation to and from downtown for both convenience and safety reasons.

Of course, the University and Lewisburg are small areas, and it’s not exceptionally difficult for students to get around campus and downtown by foot. But since seniors living uphill are going to be so far removed from their friends, the bar, and downtown parties, I think the University should consider providing transportation at least in the winter months. Aside from convenience for students, it’s also not safe to have students walking around late at night in icy or other unfavorable weather conditions. There’s a higher chance that students will slip and fall late at night during the weekends, and recently there have been students at other colleges passing out in the snow. It’s inevitable that seniors are going to go downtown and drink with their friends, so the University should consider providing transportation to keep students a little bit safer.

The University should also reevaluate its alcohol policy. Currently, alcohol is not allowed in common areas of dorms, regardless of whether the students are of legal age. This policy normally makes sense since students of all ages live in dorms, but perhaps exceptions to this rule could be made in the new senior housing. For example, during the Super Bowl, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for students who are 21 or older to host a Super Bowl party in a common area while drinking a few beers. The school should have to approve of these plans in advance and a Residential Adviser could be present to make sure things don’t get out of hand. Since seniors will no longer have as many houses to hang out in, the University should consider making its alcohol policy more lenient.

The new senior housing has its pros and cons, but in order to make uphill living more pleasant for students, the University definitely needs to implement some policy changes. It’s unfortunate that fewer students are going to be allowed to live downtown and get a glimpse of how life works after college, but since this change is happening, it’s important that the University work to make another year of on-campus living a better experience for seniors, juniors, and the student body at large.

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