Students find issue with quality of dorms on campus
By: Mak Ojutiku
When Olayinka Gureje walked into his Kean University dorm for the first time this fall, he wasn’t impressed by what he saw. The curtains in his shower were dirty, trash bins were missing, and one of the two elevators in the building was broken.
“It’s almost like they don’t prepare for us living here in the summer,” Gureje said, a junior who dorms in Rogers Hall. “Something is always broken here.”
Gureje thinks the facilities of his dorm are poor when compared to the newer dorms.
“They have the top line buildings in the front and the favelas in the back,” Gureje said.
While Gureje may have not been completely serious in his comment, there are some students who share his belief that there’s a marked difference between the older dorms in the back, and the newer ones in the front.
According to Kean, there are 1734 resident students. The residents are split into eight halls. Sozio Hall, Rogers Hall, Whiteman Hall, Bartlett Hall, Burch Hall and Dougall Hall make up the six older apartment complex styled dorms. The New Freshman Residence Hall and New Upperclassmen Residence Hall are the two newer, modern styled dorms. Some residents are saying the sleekness of the newer dorms might be coming at the expense of the older dorms.
“It’s a completely different world,” Ashley Ferreria said, a sophomore who dorms in Whiteman Hall. “Everything’s newer there and we’re left with the leftovers.”
Whiteman and Dougall Hall are the two older dorms typically reserved for first year students. A double occupancy suite in one of those residencies costs $4,136 a semester. A freshman willing to spend $4,994 a semester can acquire a double occupancy suite in the more modern New Freshman Residence Hall.
Two common complaints from residents of the older freshman dorms are that their rooms don’t have air conditioning units and that they don’t have any elevators unlike the other four dorms on campus.
“It’s been good so far,” Natalie Primero said on dorming at Whiteman Hall. “But it would be better if it had air conditioning.”
Another issue residents in the older dorms have is with the plumbing. Some students complained about being forced to take cold showers often, while others complained about having to go without any water at all for extended periods.
“The floor downstairs flooded like two weeks ago,” Peter Hillebrand said, a first year resident at Whiteman. “Water went into people’s rooms and the hallways and they had to shut down water here for two days, and the day after there was no hot water.”
Along with certain facilities, some residents feel the sleeker design and atmosphere of the newer dorm buildings give it an advantage of the older dorms.
“It is way nicer in New Freshman” Hillebrand said. “It just has a newer feel to it. Whiteman feels like a prison sometimes with its cinderblock walls”.
According to a representative from Kean, there are plans to update Whiteman Hall’s electrical system. The school also noted that the older dorms, including Whiteman and Dougall, have received updates over the years.
“Whiteman and Dougall Halls have received several updates throughout the years including window replacement, new furnishings and student lounge renovations,” Marsha McCarthy said, the director of Kean’s media relations.
Despite the issues, most residents, including the ones who live in the older dorms say their overall dorming experience has been positive.
Some residents say there is no disparity between the older and newer dorms.
“The only difference is New Upper is fancier and newer,” Kunle Oyeledun said, a senior who dorms in Sozio Hall. “In Sozio rooms, there’s actually a little bit more space.”
Oyeledun, who works for Residential Student Services, said that he’s enjoyed his dorming experience overall but there is some room for improvement.
“Work orders could be processed a little faster so student’s things could be fixed on time,” Oyeledun said. “If they fixed a couple things, people would enjoy campus life a little more but overall it’s pretty good.”