This archived article was written by: Eric Love
Living on campus can bring major stress to students. Many of the 340 students living on campus will inevitably end up dealing with hardships like home sickness, rowdy roommates and financial burdens. As difficult as these problems can be, they pale in comparison to the real problem: the problem of spotty Wi-Fi.
“The Internet in the residence halls was the biggest thing,” says Jeff Spears, director of residence life and student conduct. Nearly $85,000 of the $120,000 used for the improvement of the residence halls this year went directly to improving the Internet. Starting fall semester, the internet in Burtenshaw and Aaron Jones have been completely upgraded with Tucker being finished in a few weeks. Sessions actually has one of the better connections on campus for Wi-Fi accessibility.
Spears said the Wi-Fi was the biggest complaint he received last year; over 85 percent of students surveyed commented on the poor quality of the Internet. Spears made it very clear that the Office of Residence Life is committed to the wants and needs of the student body living on campus. In fact, last year visitation was extended from midnight to two a.m. based off of student suggestions. The same applied this year with the Internet, as Spears stated, “That’s something that we definitely wanted to fix … that was at the top of our agenda.”
While the Wi-Fi was the top priority, it didn’t stop residence life from spending almost $35,000 on other projects. Spears said, “We’re adding a kitchen to Burtenshaw, so students will have a place to cook who normally do not have a cooking unit.” He continued, “All Burtenshaw showers now have marble, we’re adding a television to Session’s lounge upstairs, and we’ve added 120 new bed frames for Tucker and Sessions.” It doesn’t stop there; Spears revealed a few of the hopeful projects to be done next year including: the replacement of all the furniture in Tucker, lounge furniture in Burtenshaw, and possible new kitchen cabinets for Tucker.
Most residents would agree that the halls still need some work, but it is clear that halls are improving, evidenced by the fact that this is the most the school has spent on the residence halls in more than a decade. What can the students can do if they have a suggestion? Spears answered, “I always have an open door policy … and I think that the students really guide the hand in Residence Life. I really listen to their feedback to make the changes we need.”