Opinion: The fall of housing

Innocent students are split from their friends amidst quarantine spike

~Ashley McMillan, Arts and Entertainment Editor~

As numbers rise, and spirits fall, it comes more and more clear how depressing living on campus has become. I only have online classes, therefore I only come onto campus for packages in the mailroom. Beyond that, I really don’t try to make an effort to come onto CNU grounds. But others don’t have that choice, and have to live out their studies through in-person lectures and labs. Though, in recent events, it seems as though that the student bodies concerns aren’t being heard. 

Students in theme units were directed last week to leave their homey situations, and move into randomized housing. Students were told they had 48 hours to leave their apartments and be settled into a new space, all without warning ahead of time. Students were told to do this because their spaces were going to be used for quarantine housing, due to the recent spike. 

Nevertheless with plans for the upcoming cute holiday, Valentine’s Day, around the corner, students were forced to worry about their already-limiting social lives. Considering we have all been trying to make the best for our social situations, I feel for these students. They’re leaving their best friends, their close circle they have been keeping throughout the semester and a half, and are set out into random housing situations. 

Due to the guest policy, students aren’t able to go into residential buildings they don’t reside in in order to keep a safe and healthy environment. Sort of like a social bubble. For students that are forced to leave their social bubble, and into random housing, they now have to safely make way for a new social bubble, if they feel comfortable, considering their friend group may have been split up. Additionally, when you enter a new space that includes people you don’t know, you have to now worry about their habits and schedules too. Personally, this would be incredibly scary to me. For someone who lives with severe asthma, and a roommate who has life-threatening health issues, this would flip the state of my world, and I would feel even less comfortable with the state of our university. 

Instead of pushing students into a random new home life, I feel as though the housing administration should’ve paid for hotel housing considering this late decision. It is not JR students fault that this quarantine spike occurred, especially since the lack of empathy for students that do follow the rules in COVID-19 statements to the student body. If students had to leave to make room for quarantine housing, housing should have administered returns on their housing leases. People paid to live with a small social group in order to be safe, and not be sent out into the wild, if you ask me. Now that the students are in new housing positions, will they have to pay for upperclassmen housing? I know my housing is tremendously more expensive, so I would hope they aren’t being charged for the university’s benefit. 

I wish there was some sort of statement about this from the school, because I didn’t know about this action until I received an email from housing about a possible new roommate. My roommate reached out to them because, well, we wanted to get to know them and they told my roommate how they had to leave their room in JR because of the push for quarantine housing, and I was immediately frightened for them. When I went onto Instagram, I saw students bringing this issue to light with more clarity and personal experience. Bearing this in mind, I wanted to write about this for The Captain’s Log and complain for the JR students, as soon as possible. 

At this point of the semester, how are we all not online for a few weeks? I know JMU did something of the sort last semester and it was incredibly healthy for the student body. Though for now, I hope housing and the CNU administration is more clear and concise with their actions from now on, because the concerns of the students definitely outweigh the board’s paychecks.

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