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The Charger Bulletin

The Drama of Housing

Jonathan Starkes

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It is 7:30 am in Danbury, Ct.  A large group of students has congregated in front of a dilapidated Residence Inn. A coach bus pulls up in front of the hotel, and the students quickly file in, eager to reach their destination. And where might that be? No, it’s not a field trip. Nor is it an away game. These students, of which I was a part of, are headed to school for their first day of classes as freshmen at WCSU.  Not quite the traditional freshmen experience I was expecting.

I’ve been contemplating the drama surrounding our new housing policy a lot lately. Although I am a commuter, I feel as though this dilemma is affecting me just as much as those directly involved. During my research into the topic, I stumbled upon an online article featured in the New Haven Register about the new policy. Although the article itself offered nothing new, its crowded comment section really caught my attention.

Here, UNH juniors, seniors, university alumni, and local residents all participated in a heated debate over whether or not the university did the right thing. Most responses were one-sided, revolving around feelings of frustration, outrage, and disappointment. Concerns were raised about student safety, campus access, and financial aid. Amidst the bustle, however, I noticed that they only party unrepresented was UNH underclassmen.

Contemplating back on my unorthodox freshmen experience, I soon realized that I fully support the university’s decision. Through emphasizing the importance of close academic support for underclassmen, President Kaplan has confirmed why I chose UNH in the first place. As an incoming student, UNH was a small establishment, a close-knit family, which truly looked after its new students. Having taken full advantage of its supportive environment as an underclassman, I am now on track to graduate in the fall.

I urge all upperclassmen to remember all of the support they received as freshmen before they jump on the band wagon with this issue. If inadequate housing is the worst side-effect of UNH’s expansion, then I say we should all be grateful. We are, in fact, all part of the same family here, and sometimes family members grow through the sacrifices they make for one another.

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The Drama of Housing