Put the “Res” back in ResEd
ResEd’s recent name change from “Life” to “Education” suggests a shift in philosophy from fulfilling basic housing and dining needs to strengthening the residential and ideological community; however, such “educational” goals should not be attempted by an organization that is yet to have the “Life” part under control.
With Afrikan Heritage House’s protest for new carpets to replace their current sewage-stained ones last Friday, one thing became abundantly clear: ResEd is not accomplishing its purpose.
In its mission statement, ResEd declares that it “strive[s] to create positive residential and dining communities, which will intentionally challenge and support the personal growth of all students.”
Lately, it seems that it’s doing a better job of offering more challenges than support. Health and safety concerns are not being addressed adequately or in a timely manner: the Heritage House carpets were only going to be shampooed, the Union St. apartments remain a vulnerable target and, in a time when students are being mugged and President Nancy Dye herself has acknowledged a rash of thefts, it takes nearly a month for broken locks to be repaired.
The bottom line is that students should not have to stage a protest in order for basic health hazards to be addressed as a priority.
Perhaps what the community is witnessing is the result of larger flaws in the process at work. In response to the protestors’ demands on Friday, ResEd Director Molly Tyson explained that each year all of the dorms are evaluated, and the dorm that has sustained the most damage will be selected for repairs. Last year the lucky dorm was Noah, but the repairs were never conducted due to insufficient funding. (Fortunately, they were able to scrounge together enough money to pay for Union St.)
While it is unclear whether ResEd is to blame, it is clear that something needs to be done. Despite the ostensible changes, a month into the new semester it is yet to be seen how these educational goals will manifest. This may be a result of the overwhelming demands placed on the department this year, demands which, for lack of resources or foresight, it is unable to meet.
You’d think that if the administration were really trying to convince people to stay on campus, student housing repairs would be made top priority, or, at the very least, ResEd would be given the proper funding to do so.