It was Friday, August 28, a mere three days before I was to move into my room in the Lowenberger Residence, when I recieved a phone call. It was Jamie Fleming, head of the Department of Residence (DOR), who politely explained to me that Lowenberger would in fact not be completed by the time I would be moving in. Instead, I was to be placed in a hotel, and was to bring only the “bare essentials.”A surprising turn of events, particularly to someone who had only the previous day called to ensure that Lowenberger was to be completed on schedule, and had been told explicitly that nothing had occured to disrupt the schedule that had been mailed to me weeks ago.
While I was disappointed, I was not concerned. I knew that there were hotels not far from campus and that wherever I was stationed would no doubt be within walking distance from campus.
Surprise came again when I found that I would be staying in a Howard Johnson; a 25 minute bus ride from campus. Perhaps a little naively, I believed claims that the residence would be completed by that approaching weekend.
With the end of the week approaching, news came that we would be moving not to our residence, but to yet another seedy motel, and that this move would not be conveniently timed to occur on a weekend, but on a Friday morning, the second day of class. I found that I was no longer surprised at the depressing trend in the news postulated by the DOR.
The move was completed with suprising ease, as moving trucks and chartered buses taxied us and our belongings to our new home. By noon, the move was complete and without incident, and there we have stayed for the past two weeks.
To the DOR’s great credit, they have risen above the call of duty for this situation, greatly minimizing our discomfort. They provided us with a place to hang our hats, arranged for us to be allowed to eat breakfast at the hotel, and got a charter bus to pick us up every hour to take us to and from campus throughout the day.
Consequently, anything we may have missed from O-week has been minimal. We were able to participate in the rez events, and were able to become familiar with our school. Because the DOR placed people in hotels so as to not fracture the populus of a floor, we were able to acquaint ourselves with each other.
The DOR has also recognized our academic needs by providing us with an increased printing account, adding $10 at 5 cents a page.
However, there have also been shortcomings in the service of the DOR. We are unable to bring our computers into our rooms, and public opinion regarding our current accomodations have been less than raving. I have heard tales of suspicious yellow stains found on bedsheets, and have seen dead bugs squished into the wall firsthand, (let us speak not of the underside of our matresses) to name a few. The area is also less than stellar (although there is a “Space Motel” down the street from us) surrounded mostly by drug dealers and strip joints. And while it may be unavoidable, we have to wait an hour for a bus to get back home, and leave an hour before class starts.
So, while we may be most dissatisfied with the way things have been arranged, our situation during the next few weeks will be remarkably livable, and with little-to-no long-term effects.