Students express concerns about living conditions

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Students express concerns about living conditions

Photo credit/ Bob Hannon

Photo credit/ Bob Hannon

Photo credit/ Bob Hannon

Regina Hall, one of the many buildings that upperclass students migrate to after freshman year.

Mandy Scritchfield & Autumn Gramigna, Assistant Community Editor & Managing Editor

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Even though the numbers show that there is more than enough space in residence halls to accommodate all of the students requesting housing, some upperclassmen are still feeling cramped.

Marywood’s residence halls have the capacity to hold 1,088 on-campus resident students. Currently, there are approximately 976 students living in the campus’s nine residence halls.

Still, students like Lorianne Zarra are living in some tight quarters. Zarra, a junior fine arts major, lives in McCarty Hall with 15 other women.

“It is pretty difficult to expect 16 girls to live in a house normally made for only five or six people,” she said.

Beyond the cramped quarters, the Hall is in need of repairs according to Zarra. A room in McCarty Hall had a bee infestation last year.
“Maintenance was called a bunch of times, and when they came, they duct taped my window and said the bees should be gone,” said Zarra.

Since the fall semester, the bee issue in McCarty has been resolved, and according to Ross Novak, director of housing and residence life, no subsequent reports of bees have been filed.

According to Zarra, the problems with housing extend beyond maintenance repairs. “I don’t think there are enough dorm rooms on campus at all. They should fix their old dorms and build new ones as well,” Zarra said.

Novak said when he became director in July 2012 that there were talks about building new residence halls.

“Going ahead with a new residence hall involves funds, however, and the institutional focus is on the need for the Learning Commons,” said Novak.

But, not all students are complaining about housing accommodations. Freshman communication arts major Kathy Avila resides in Loughran Hall and rooms with two other women.

“In Loughran, there are enough spaces. I know two girls who live in a quad by themselves, and a few girls live by themselves in two-person dorm rooms,” said Avila.

According to Novak, Loughran was at 94 percent capacity with 314 residents in the fall. This spring, the building is at 91 percent capacity, with only 299 residents living in the Hall. This drop in numbers is typical and expected, said Novak.

Between the fall and spring semesters, residence halls tend to lose students as a result of successful appeals to change to commuter status, academic dismissals, or students taking a temporary leave from the institution, among other reasons.

“Although the ideal is to be as close to 100 percent capacity as possible for both semesters, Loughran’s current occupancy rate is not a concern,” Novak said.

The extra space in the residence halls gives the housing and residence life staff some flexibility should problems arise.

While Avila said that she believes there is enough space to house students on campus, the problem is a lack of options.

“Chances are that after Loughran, I’ll end up living in Regina,” she said.

Novak encouraged students to reach out to both the residence hall advisory board and student government to have discussions about how to improve housing.

“I do think there are opportunities to kind of work with what we have now to improve some of those situations,” said Novak.

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