Opinion: Our Dorms Need Renovating

Editor’s Note: These opinion articles represent the viewpoint of the author, and are posted here to stimulate discussion on this campus. The Southwesterner believes that meaningful, honest, open discussion is an important part of an academic setting, and is Christian by nature. We will continue to promote the concept of open and free dialog between students and the university.

by Ephraim Viadex

I pay $30,000 a year to attend Southwestern Adventist University, so why does my room feel like a jail cell, kind of like the ones I saw on Beyond Scared Straight, growing up as a kid? Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but for some of you students here at SWAU, I may have voiced a thought you’ve had in your head for some time now. For students living in Hadley and Meier dorms, you may relate to this sentiment: our buildings need renovation. Now!

As a freshman, moving into Miller Hall was an interesting time. Before I found out about the dynamic of the dorm, I was excited to finally be on my own, away from home, living the college experience that so many people rave about. I quickly found out the SWAU is very different from most schools: gender-specific dorms, curfews, and room checks, so I was a bit skeptical of what my experience was going to be like. Soon enough I got used to the rules, but once I found out about the “big boy” dorms, my focus shifted to when I would finally be 21, so I could stay in Hadley, the dorm for students that age and older, where my curfew became 3 a.m., the room checks less intrusive, and the comfort of peace and quiet. I never got the chance to see Hadley prior, but I assumed it had to be better than Miller.

That all came crashing down my junior year when I officially moved into Hadley. The rooms, oh so small, the walls, oh so bare, the bathrooms, oh so old. The room looked dreadful, and so did the rest of the building. I planned to make it work, however, as I’ve never been one to complain much. Fast forward, two years later, the year is 2024, I’m a resident assistant, I’m in a new room, on a different floor in Hadley, and my gripes with the dorm have only gotten worse. From leaking vents to moldy doors, broken door handles, broken shower heads, and broken furniture, Hadley Hall reminds me of my mother’s old car; everything breaks and leaks, but it still seems to chug along.

As an RA now, I see the bigger picture of the dorm and its aging; I hear the complaints, I see all the problems. On top of my own leaking A/C vent, other students living in the building have complained about leaking vents, lights going out, weird smells, and so forth. And let me not forget to mention: the door handle to even enter the building is broken, broken to the point that there is no longer a handle there anymore. See, I don’t mean to bash anyone here, as an RA of the school, we are kind of the face of this whole operation, and it’s not our fault, or the Dean’s fault, that our dorms are like this. It’s not the maintenance worker’s fault either. Those people work hard to ensure we get the best living experience possible with what we have. I will put this responsibility in the hands of those in the administration. These are the people who at the end of the day, have the power to make change. With the money that students pay yearly in tuition, it’s only right that we get a living experience worth the money.

In 2019, SWAU opened the Larry R. Moore Nursing and Administration Building, located in the center of campus. The university’s nursing students have been experiencing the state-of-the-art facility filled with advanced technology and modern and spacious classrooms, ever since. Last year, Miller Hall received a new recreational area, with a skatepark, a basketball court, and a turf. This has transformed Miller Hall for the better as now students have a place to socialize, be active, and even worship. For too long, Hadley and Meier Hall have been overlooked. While other areas of our campus are receiving upgrades and changes, Hadley and Meier have been dreading in misery for the last 30 years. A full renovation may seem drastic, but at the bare minimum, major repairs and upgrades are needed. We need new paint, new furniture, new A/C vents, at the very least, we need a door handle to enter our building.

There’s always so much focus on athletes, freshmen, and nursing majors at this school, which rightly so, as they make up a huge portion of the school’s population, but the older students, the ones who have been committed to this school for the better part of three to four years, who are living in Hadley and living in Meier, deserve better too. The school has the money to make changes in these dorms, and if not, some alumni will donate, if the effort is put forth to attract donors. Every school tries to sell you an experience, but the reality is education can be received anywhere, and there are many universities offering degrees.


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1 Comment

  1. 4
    April 24, 13:59 Reply
    This is a great platform for students to speak up. I just pray it does not fall on deaf ears. Well written and proud of you for standing up and speaking out. Great Job.

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