Everyone knows someone or has heard someone complain about the South Side Suites over the past semester. South suites replaced Lenhardt hall over the summer of 2014 and students were able to move in for that fall semester. Since then, the place has had a lot going on.
Imagine getting in bed, closing your eyes, and drifting off to sleep only to be awoken a few minutes later by a loud noise. It’s the fire alarm, telling you to evacuate the building. Then try to imagine standing out in the snow in your pjs without any shoes and no keys to get back into your room. You beg for someone to let you sit in their car, or try to find somewhere to stay for the night because you have an 8 a.m. class and they say you wont get back in until the morning. This is an all-too familiar experience for those living in the suites. Multiple gas leaks, microwave incidents and kids just playing around have been the cause of numerous evacuations over the fall and spring semester.
Those who may have arrived early to campus over the summer for various sports or extracurriculars could tell you that you either got a freezing cold or scolding hot shower for weeks. Various residents have been bombarding housing with requests for space heaters or fans because the temperature control units do not connect properly with the actually heating and cooling systems. Not to mention the break-ins we were all warned about, because for some reason the locks on the doors do not line up, making it impossible to lock away your valuables while you are out.
It is hard to feel safe when the main security tends to be pretty lax. The main doors are sometimes just left open to for anyone to enter whilst the desk attendants check their email and don’t ask to show your ID. It is as though anyone could enter and exit the building for any amount of time without being noticed or checked on.
Thin walls and no respect for quiet hours render efforts to study futile. Students have resorted to blasting music through their headphones or buying industrial grade gun muffler headphones and earplugs just to keep the noise out. Study rooms are almost always occupied, usually by a video game tournament or some sort of social gathering, turning a possible great feature of the building into a practically useless amenity.
The single sink vanity in the middle of the entryway, as opposed to actually being in the bathroom, creates chaos and friction between suite mates everywhere. Getting ready in the morning and before bed becomes a constant battle. The built-in closets leave little choice as far as room arrangement, making the rooms appear small and cluttered. Those with disabilities are also out of luck when one of the elevators break down and they have to wait 10-15 minutes just to get a ride to their rooms.
Students with cars leave for a grocery run knowing when they get back they will have to circle the lots for close to 20 minutes before finding a spot when someone else leaves. Those using their bikes to get around, use trash bags and cloths to try to make up for the insufficient cover provided for the bike racks near the entryways. Co-ed floors make the living situation awkward when a suite mate decides to let their significant other from across the hall live with them and use their facilities 24/7. The walkway to classes is sometimes a tunnel between large chain link fences guarding construction on the new suites to be built right next to the ones already in place.
People are abandoning ship. More people have been saying their suite mates have moved to Shenks or even off campus to run away from the inconveniences of living in the new dorms. The second phase of the construction should be done by fall of 2015, but there is no word on whether they will mimic the south suites or be different in their construction and/or layout.