Students give ‘dorming’ mixed reviews
For Junior Justine Soto, there’s no place like the University Courts.
“It has a homey feel,” Soto said.
But a senior, who preferred to remain anonymous, said campus weekends were dead.
“Everyone who lived on campus would leave on the weekends, making it empty and boring,” the anonymous medical imaging sciences major said.
Of the 5,088 full time Metro students, only about 700 live on campus. It is the job of Residence Life to try to keep them happy and satis ed. That responsibility often falls on the Resident Assistants (RA’s). But one RA said it takes more than that.
“Building a community is easy at FDU, we just have to be willing to get out,” said Ray White, an RA for the Lindens.
White said the Lindens are the liveliest and cheapest place to live. He always thought about becoming an RA, and has been dedicated to the Lindens since he was a freshman. But once he became one, he realized one of the best things about it was the opportunity to meet new people.
Chris Parodi, an RA for University Court 6, said one the biggest challenges of his job is trying to bring residents of the courts together. He thinks the layout of the buildings may have something to do with it.
“Everyone is secluded on their own in separate buildings,” Parodi said. “We have programs, but attendance is not great. Since University Court 6 is for the honors program, many residents don’t have time for events because they’re too busy.”
Residence Life offers three choices for housing, each at a different price point. The Lindens are at the budget end, where a double costs $8,592 for the year. That’s where most residents get their first experience of on-campus living – Honors students, Global Scholars, and L.I.F.E House students are the exception.
“Lindens is more of a community,” Senior Tyler Williams said. “Eventually you get to know a lot of the people from other floors. Makes sense that most people start in the Lindens.”
For Ray White, the Lindens work for the same reason good businesses do – location, location, location.
“The Lindens are always lively,” White said. “We’re right next to the SUB, which always has events. We’re next to the caf, everybody [has] to eat. And we’re next to the ball courts. When the weather’s nice, everybody’s outside enjoying the weather, and playing basketball.”
White said the suite concept helps build a sense of community.
“It’s almost a little more tight-knit and communal,” White said, “because you’re living with like five other people.”
Of course, being tight-knit has its downside, too.
“[The Lindens] have freshmen, so it can be a bit noisy, because freshmen are more excited, and they want to have fun,” said an anonymous University Court RA. “So there’s a lot more of that type of energy, whereas the Courts have less freshmen, it’s more quiet and peaceful, and it’s not too crazy.”
The Courts are the midpoint, where a double comes in at $9,252 for a building with a kitchen, and $8,758 without.
“I find the Courts to be quiet, and in some instances a little more peaceful, but also it’s a more homey feeling,” said an anonymous University Court RA.
The Penthouse is Northpointe, where a double room costs $10,406. It’s a great place – if you can get in the door.
“I get locked out a lot, because the person managing the door isn’t there,” said sophomore Annabel Reyes. “It’s happened like four times. Even if you have your key, it doesn’t work for the second door, someone has to buzz you in, so if that person isn’t there you can’t get in.”
Some students find the high-rise structure of Northpointe intimidating.
“If you aren’t a communicator, you will
feel invisible here,” said an anonymous resident of Northpointe, who is an international student. “You need to speak out and be outgoing or else you will be lost.”
But she added that being in an environment where she had to assert herself had made her a better communicator, and more able to talk to people. She said there were lots of things to do on campus – a lot of activities. She said she goes to the SUB almost every night at eight because there is always something going on.
One issue that seems to reach each residence community is marijuana.
“I didn’t expect marijuana to be a big thing, especially with being told that it’s a dry campus,” said an anonymous University Courts RA. “You’d think people would be a little more cautious with the way they use it, but it was something I didn’t expect to get used to.”
Some students nd the odor unappealing.
“People smoke weed all the time outside,” an anonymous junior said. “It stinks bad into my window when I’m trying to sleep.”
It bothers some RA’s, too.
“To me, in my freshman year, [as well as being] an international student, it wasn’t something that I got accustomed to,” an anonymous RA said. “I didn’t like the idea of every time I walked back to my room I would smell weed. To me, it’s not the most pleasant smell.”
According to the Residence Life website, “You will have the opportunity to ‘live, learn, and grow’ through the unique experience of living with other students. You will learn new things about yourself, about living with others, and about being part of a community. We believe your experience in the residence halls will prove to be both enjoyable and enriching.”
For the most part, the RA’s and students who talked to The Equinox would agree with that statement.