Parking

Let’s Talk Change URI

June 24, 2015 in Campus Life, Colleges, Reviews

 It’s a bit unrealistic to like everything about your college and its campus, right? Well, the University of Rhode Island is no exception to that. From the hassle of selling back your old textbooks  to limited parking spaces and even the off-campus social scene,there are a few things I would change about URI and here’s why:

URI Bookstore

URI Bookstore

One thing I would change about URI would have to be the inconvenience of the bookstore. Every semester, thousands of students purchase books for their classes, some of them are never even used while others are used once or twice during the entire course. Not only is this unfair, but when it comes to the end of the school year, selling back your books to the URI Bookstore is horrifying. I’ve had instances where I’ve purchased a hardcover textbook for over $60 and have received $5-10 back. This just doesn’t seem fair especially because students cannot afford to be buying such expensive books. I remember as I freshmen, I was willing to purchase an expensive book because I was told I could sell it back to the URI Bookstore, but after realizing they would only pay me for a fraction of the original price, I stopped purchasing my books from them. Now, I use other alternatives allowing me to rent books and mail them back without any additional cost.
A URI Parking Lot

A URI Parking Lot

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you how difficult it is to find on-campus parking. It usually starts off with an angry tone then a few dirty looks followed by one or two heavy breathes of frustration. These are the immediate responses of URI students when parking is mentioned. There’s always construction, which means heavy duty machinery is most likely blocking parking spots. With an increase in student body each year, you would think the school would add more parking spots conveniently near dorm buildings or even the library, but no. That’s the least of their worries and as you can see from the image above, some parking lots have massive potholes preventing students from pulling into spaces. If you ask me, some of these holes seem unsafe and could damage a student, faculty member or vehicle. For now, URI continues to expand its departments and programs by adding to the campus without taking into consideration the lack of parking spaces available.
South Kingstown Police

South Kingstown Police

The last thing thing that makes the University of Rhode Island difficult to stand is the off-campus social scene. Being a dry campus has arguably ruined URI’s reputation as being a party school. It’s difficult to even have friends over in your dorm room because the Residential Assistant (RA) may consider it to be a party. With that being said, most parties and friendly gatherings are ‘down the line’ in Narragansett and South Kingstown, where most upperclassmen live. This is about a twenty minute ride off campus, making the commute to hang out with friends a dreaded trip. In recent years, the parties off-campus have resulted in a lot of issues with local police. This has started a parking ban in off-campus residential neighborhoods throughout evenings and into the night. Students are now unable to get together with their friends because of transportation issues as well as disagreements with town police. What ever happened to having fun while in college?
 
It’s an unfortunate situation when the college or university you attend seems to make decisions without the student body in mind. In my opinion, these are changes that the University of Rhode Island should take into consideration and potentially change in order to be have a more positive effect on students. Although URI has been my home for the past three years, those in charge may need pay closer attention to its Rhody students and their desires for change. 

The Two Disasters at FSU

February 16, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

The Florida State University is just short of perfection. The food, sports programs, students, nightlife, academics, campus life- everything is exactly what you want out of a huge college university. But with something great always come a downside. In my personal opinion, there are two particular aspects about this school that should be changed: the dormitories and the parking.

The dorms on the FSU campus are like night and day. On one end of campus, they are beautiful, clean, comfortable, and spacious- similar to that of a hotel room. But on the other end, they’re cramped, dirty, and nothing short of absolutely disgusting due to old age and lack of proper attention. It’s like comparing a luxurious Ritz Carlton to a motel off the road.

I lived in a dorm my freshman year at FSU, in what is known as the infamous Kellum Hall. As you can imagine, Kellum is located on the side of campus with the outdated dorms. Despite the amazing friends I made while living here, it’s safe to say that I was residing in horrific conditions. Being that the building is so old, mold was growing all over the place, resulting in students acquiring what is known as “The Kellum Cough.” I heard this rumor during my orientation, but I thought this was just an overreaction by critical, whiney students. I was hoping that my future home for the next year could not be nearly as terrible as people claimed. However, I found that I was sick with a cold multiple times throughout the semester as a result of the stale conditions and excessive humidity that had continued to accumulate over the years. The second I walked into the building, it felt like I was in an 11-floor prison; it’s dark, dreary, and provides a downright depressing atmosphere.

Another downside of these particular dorms is the community-style bathrooms. While several of the newer dorms have one bathroom per room, the older dorms have two bathrooms per floor, which contain only 4 stalls and 3 showers. Waiting to shower was yet another inconvenience I experienced several times. Although the bathrooms are cleaned throughout the week by a staff, they were neglected on weekends, which is when cleaning is needed the most. The garbage would begin overflowing and the showers would start to accumulate hair and dirt. It felt as if I was living in the filth of people I barely knew- something that I was not expecting after leaving the comfort of my own home. The rooms are extremely small as well. Since each person is paired with a roommate, one person’s side of the room is equivalent to the size of large bathroom; there’s barely enough room to hold all of your necessities. Is this really fair to students who are simply trying to adjust to their first year in college?

For a university of 40,000 students, I feel that every single dormitory should be kept clean and up-to-date. In my opinion, dorms like Kellum and Smith Hall, which are at least 55 years old, should be knocked down for sanitary purposes and rebuilt as new, clean dorms, similar to that of the beautiful dorms on the opposite end of campus. It is unfair for students who have applied for on-campus housing to worry about being placed in a dorm that will most likely make them experience flu-like symptoms throughout the year. The old buildings on the campus are what make Florida State University so unique and charming. However, buildings that grow mold from a lack of attention and age should certainly not be considered living conditions for incoming students, several of which even come from out-of-state. Even if only freshman generally live on campus, they deserve a homey, clean, and comfortable environment.

Kellum Hall

Kellum Hall

Now let’s move on to the parking issue. Again, for so many students to attend this large university, there is not nearly enough parking. Several of the upperclassmen that attend FSU live off-campus, so driving is necessary if the buses do not stop at your particular apartment complex. Anytime between 10 AM and 4 PM, students should leave at least an hour early if they expect to find a parking spot. Circling around the lot for at least 30 minutes burning gas is a common practice that every FSU student is a little too accustomed with. Unfortunately, it’s become a way of life.

I personally feel that there’s plenty of room to build at least one more parking garage. If this is not the case, then freshmen should not be allowed to have cars on campus so the upperclassmen can drive without the constant worry of scheduling classes based around parking. I have spoken to a number of students who schedule 8 AMs just to avoid the chaos of circling the parking garage for hours. Time is the last thing college students need to waste with the amount of work and obligations they have committed to, especially just to park their car. I have myself experienced this frustration multiple times as well. Generally, the only hope of finding a parking spot is tracking down a student walking to his or her car and leaving.

No college campus is perfect. FSU has become my second home in so many ways, but there is no denying that the parking and the older dormitories must be changed for the sake of the students’ convenience. After all, they have chosen to attend this school for four plus years over thousands of other colleges in the nation; they deserve to feel at home.

The not so bright side of BSU

September 26, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Reviews

Bridgewater State University much like every other college has its perks. Aside from the campus itself being gorgeous (which is more than what I can say for some college’s) has an amazing education system and is dirt cheap (always a plus). However, with everything positive in life there is always a negative…or several. In my four-year experience, here are two things I think need to CHANGE.

1.   No Alcohol Policy: Seriously, a dry campus? Mind as well add BSU to the list of Lamest Colleges in the area. I mean, I love this college, and as far as going out and having fun it is all about what you make of it! But think about it, you never hear kids outside of the area saying, “Hey guys, want to go party at Bridgewater State tonight?!” Never. Ever. You know what, I know that’s okay considering we have great teaching programs amongst many others, but what about the experience? Some of us aren’t just living here to just walk to class-walk to our doors- study- sleep…then back to class! Let us have a little fun.

The issue isn’t just that the campus is dry. Some of the biggest party schools have that policy as well. The problem at hand is how strictly they enforce this rule. It is absolutely ridiculous. Not only are the campuses cops circling every crevice of our campus, but the town police are constantly intervening as well. When you are 19, and need help with a packie, good luck getting that alcohol from their car to your dorm. Not to mention how uptight security at the dorms are. There is a little joke that our freshman dorms are the “prison cells”. The first reason they are called that is because they are old as shit. They are so old that the guards will tell us about how they used to have “House Mothers”. Give me a break. The second reason we call the frosh dorms “prison cells” is because of the security. They search us up and down, our front pockets, back pockets, every inch of our backpacks. Like really? Its 8:40 am, I just got out of class…just let me in! I promise you I don’t have a handle in my wristlet right now. Alright, that’s enough of that.

2.    Parking: This is a legitimate flaw with our school right now, and I know I am not just speaking for myself when I bring this up. Bridgewater is extremely commuter based, therefore finding parking is a bitch. BSU attempted key word: attempted to solve this on going issue by building a parking garage. Well, not too many of us really viewed this as a “solution”. The garage is located next to the freshman dorms (freshman can’t even have cars on campus). This location also means that even if you do find a spot in this garage you are walking down the huge freshman hill, and you still have quite a long walk until you get to any of your classes. During the fall and spring it isn’t that bad, however during the winter…it’s a different story.

 

The parking may be a hassle and the outrageously strict rules are a bummer, but these are Bridgewater’s flaws, and you better believe every college has them. It is important to work towards changing and growing as a campus. So until these changes are made enjoy the bright side of things. BSU still has plenty more to offer.

UMaine is great, but here are some things I would like to see changed

June 5, 2014 in Campus Life, Colleges

UMaine dorm

UMaine dorm

 

During my four years at UMaine I have learned to dislike some things about the campus. Granted, it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, there are some things that they could do to improve the campus for future students. Here is a list of things that I think UMaine could improve on in the future:

1)      On campus housing – As many UMaine students know, this is a huge problem that is causing many students to live off campus. One of the best things about going to this school is living on campus and experiencing the “campus lifestyle”. School officials are looking to increase campus enrollment to 15,000 students in the next couple years with no new dorms in development. Next year, campus officials have decided to kick juniors and seniors out of dorms and only allow freshmen and sophomore to live in dorms. Upperclassmen deserve the right to live in dorms, but school officials disagree. Some students who are looking to live on-campus that are out-of-state don’t want to pay for a yearlong lease in an apartment. If the University wants to grow and accept more students from New England and the rest of the country they need to develop new dorms to allow more students to live on-campus.

2)      Parking – with an increase in campus enrollment there has to be more parking right? The main commuter lot at times is nearly impossible to find an open spot,  many students end up parking in spots that are far away. In many states that isn’t a big deal its just a long walk, but in the middle of winter in the state of Maine, when temperatures hover around the zero degree mark, it is not pleasant for students. Construction on campus has been a main contributor why parking is hard to find, but even after construction has been completed there won’t be enough spots for the students to park. One rumor that has been floating around has been a parking garage. With multiple levels it would make sense to build, but that would only mean more money.

3)      Job placement emphasis – Even though our campus has 10,000 students I wish there was more of an emphasis from the school to help students get a job. Each student pays thousands of dollars to receive an education and it would be nice for some that need more guidance after school to receive that help. It’s a time for many students to find jobs, it would be nice to have a little bit more support to help find a lead to a job.

4)      Campus food – Sometimes when I buy campus food, I feel like I’m being cheated. $10 for a sandwich and drink that would have been better if I had just gone to Subway. Campus food needs some improvement in their quality and more healthy food options. With such an emphasis on a healthy lifestyle there needs to be more selection for students.

These are some of the things that I would love the University of Maine to look at changing for future students and improve their quality of education at a great University.

 

by Amanda

Parking, and WiFi, and Greek Life… Oh My!

May 23, 2014 in Campus Life, Reviews

Stephen F Austin State University has a lot of amazing and wonderful things however there are of course things that I feel a lot of people would like to change. No campus is perfect, and you can’t always please everyone but I feel there are a few things that could be changed for the better.
• Parking
Though I don’t personally drive a car to campus but I can remember riding with friends while they tried to find a place to park for residents and even though there was a huge lot behind multiple freshmen dorms, they would always have to park in the garage. Most of the super convenient and largest parking lots on campus seem to be faculty and staff or visitor only parking, which makes it difficult for residents and commuters that are trying to park anywhere near their classes or dorms. Also moving in and out of the dorms were pure torture due to parking. If you didn’t show up before 8 am or after 11 pm, you were guaranteed to have to walk pretty far with all of your belongings just to move in or out due to so many people being on campus and having very little parking.

• WiFi
One of my biggest complaints while living on campus was the wireless internet. It would randomly shut down, slow down during “heavy traffic times” (when that many people are on campus, when isn’t it going to be busy?), or would delay registering for class or being assigned dorm rooms. You can only connect a set amount of devices to the wifi, and if you have a wireless printer you can absolutely forget using it because it can and will shut down the wifi in your hall. The only way to be sure that you had internet connection at all times was to have an Ethernet cable hooked up to your computer, which is totally cool as long as you have a portal for it on your computer.

• Greek Life
I’m not one to put down what you want to join or where you fit in. If you want to go greek, that’s awesome! But others shouldn’t be looked down on by others for not being in a fraternity or sorority. Or worse, greek life turning on each other. It seems that at SFA we have not only greeks calling out and making fun of non-greeks, oh so affectionately called GDI’s (God D**n Independents) on our campus, but also cross counsel hatred and intercounsel hatred. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard guys from one fraternity comment how guys from another fraternity might as well not be greek because their fraternity doesn’t count. Or girls asking if someone’s in greek life and when told that the person is in multicultural rather than IFC, the girls scoff and act like their greek is pointless. Though I’m not a part of greek life, I do recognize that part of the goals of greek life is to unite people from all backgrounds, not just ones that are like yours or are in the same counsel/greek you’re in.

Though there are a few things I would change, and some bigger than others, all in all SFA truly is a great place to be. Despite our flaws. But then again, who/what isn’t imperfect?