Students raise questions about the safety and quality of on-campus housing

Students raise questions about the safety and quality of on-campus housing

Noah Nelson, Sports Editor

Dorms have been historically difficult places to live. While part of the allure of college, Viterbo’s on-campus housing has been abnormally uncomfortable for many students, not only on arrival, but during their stay in the dorms. Unclean rooms upon arrival, moldy bathrooms, and a lack of choice when it comes to meal plans are just some of the housing issues pointed out by many students.   

In recent years, dorms have become more ‘rundown’ from routine use, but that is not an excuse for safety hazards to be left unattended. One student experienced a moldy bathroom which extensively became worse, but during all RA room checks, it was left unreported.  

Rooms are also all supposedly cleaned before move-in day, but many students have reported items being left behind when they moved in, or furniture being dirty. Failing to provide these basics for incoming students makes this day much more stressful. Two freshman students living in Bonaventure disclosed, “There was no bedframe, and we were not able to bunk the beds for the first day. We should be able to move in with as few issues as possible.” 

Junior Sophia Barbato has mixed feelings about campus living. She finds it “Super convenient.” However, she has complaints about some of the requirements. “I wish we didn’t have to have a meal plan while living here,” she said. “I only eat 1-3 meals a week in the Caf and only go so that I don’t completely waste the plan.” The requirement of a meal plan is an effective way for Freshman students to feed themselves, but it is not always practical for students living in second- and third-year dorms.” 

Another concern in the dorms is the stench of marijuana in the hallways. Referring to McDonald dorms, an anonymous Sophomore student has commented, “Even in apartment units, it is still noticeable.” They would like those responsible to know, “It does affect other students and campus rules need to be adhered to.”  

Matthew Jurvelin, Assistant Dean of the Student Community, said of the issue, “I am very disappointed that that is the case.” Residence Life is taking any action they can, “We have had situations where we have knocked and entered rooms after identifying a room as a source for the smell.” He followed up saying that if the smell did not disappear, Residence Life staff would “Make unannounced entrance into rooms they are suspicious of. We have had situations where we have knocked four times and made entrance into rooms without residents present.”  

There have been whispers around campus of dorms becoming infested with cockroaches, but Residence Life and the Physical Plant have begun the cleanup process. Jurvelin claims, “We have been in contact with exterminators, and some spraying has already been done.” Students are unfortunately feeling the effects of these issues. Jurvelin urges, “Until we know about something we can’t do anything about it.” 

Campus housing has never been expected to be a perfect experience for students, but there are expectations that they should be able to live on campus without safety hazards, dirty rooms, or overheating. Most of the dorm rooms are in great condition, but the fact that even some are in poor shape is a concern for many. Forcing a meal plan on students after their first year makes on-campus living unappealing, and coupled with cleanliness issues, there is a lot of work to be done.