Students living in West Campus dorms who are routinely and unfairly jolted awake to the sound of a jackhammer outside of their windows deserve compensation from the university.
Frustrated and unable to sleep, many of these students decide to begin their days early and flip on the light switch in their dorms but are left in almost complete darkness. They rummage through their belongings in limited light and head to the shower, but when they turn on the faucet, out comes a trickle instead of a steady stream of water. After these students endure a likely inadequate shower, they may step outside to head to class and encounter a cloud of dust, effectively negating the hygienic process anyway.
There are numerous students on campus who are claiming this scenario as their reality. Some Blanco and San Saba Hall residents are paying anywhere from an estimated $2,500 to $3,000 each semester to live in some of the more desirable dorms on campus. But now these students have to deal with the ever-present inconvenience of the West Campus Housing Complex being erected right near the places they call home at Texas State—their dorms.
According to a Feb. 6 University Star article, Domonique Gray-Berroa, political science freshman and member of Associated Student Government Freshman Council, created a proposal for the. The proposal states the residents of Blanco and San Saba halls are looking for a reimbursement of 20 percent of their housing fees. Gray-Berroa, who is circulating a petition supporting the proposal, had collected 200 signatures by Jan. 31 when Freshman Council approved the item in favor of the reimbursement, according to the same article. If passes the proposal, it will be forwarded to the university administration.
ASG needs to pass the reimbursement proposal as soon as possible. This is an issue university administrators need to take seriously.
It is completely unfair that unsuspecting freshmen chose their dorms last spring without being properly alerted that construction could affect their quality of life once they arrived at Texas State. Instead, Housing and Residential Life representatives held a meeting in the fall to alert students of the situation, according to the same article. Information on the construction should have been posted on the Facilities and Rates page of the campus housing website before the students moved in, which administrators have now promised to do.
Communication was additionally shoddy in alerting students to when utilities, such as water, electricity or air conditioning, would be shut off. Housing and Residential Life officials let students know of these circumstances by hanging up signs in the halls. The more appropriate and immediate way to alert students would be by email or by asking resident assistants to speak to students directly.
While a 20-percent reimbursement seems more than fair for these inconvenienced students, it is unlikely that Housing and Residential Life officials will give them such an amount. If students have any hope of getting potential reimbursement, they need to band together and continue to pressure the administration. Texas State’s budget may be tight on cash, but so are the individuals who go to school here.
Freshmen may be the most vulnerable of the students on campus. As they transition from high school to college, they need a safe, clean and healthy environment to make friends and study within – the conditions in and surrounding San Saba and Blanco halls are none of the above. The administration needs to acknowledge and address any issues brought about by construction projects. Housing and Residential Life representatives have already promised to take some steps, but students need to hold them accountable and ensure they follow through.