What’s Up With Housing?/by Marquisha Mathis

Shall we start from the beginning? Many of us came to Mississippi College as freshmen or transfers.

Before we even got here, the idea behind living spaces according to MC’s website was that the East Tower, Mary Nelson, and Gunter were for female freshmen. The West Tower, Latt-Webb, and Chrestman were for female upperclassmen. Whittington and Hederman were for male freshmen, and New Men’s was for male upperclassmen. University Place and College Plaza were for juniors and seniors that wanted their own space away from campus, with no meal plan.

Now that everything has changed, we’re asking the question: What have you done, MC? There have been many complaints over the past few weeks from an email that was sent out by Dr. Jonathan Ambrose, who announced a few changes that were happening concerning student living.

Since that day, students have been asking questions. They are upset by this sudden change because they liked the way in which housing was already coordinated.

Many of the students, specifically upperclassmen, already had a clear idea of where they wanted to live in fall of 2020. However, they have had to change around where they thought they were going to live.

The difference between housing options was premium and non-premium. Students thought it was better to live in non-premium because it includes a meal plan and is cheaper than premium.

Now, here comes the bad news! On Feb. 7, Dr. Jonathan Ambrose, the Associate Vice President for Student Experience, sent out an email titled “2020-2021 Housing Updates.” What could that have meant?

Just what we were all afraid of! Let’s get to it. The first change states that Latimer-Webb will become an upperclassman male residence hall. Wait, what? This is a women’s dorm for upperclassmen females and has been for a long time. The girls liked living here.

How could you just change it from a female dorm to a male dorm? What is being done with Ratliff?

Now, Gunter and some of the bedrooms in Mary Nelson will become housing for upperclassmen females. What in the world is happening? What was supposed to be for freshmen girls will now be shared with upperclassmen girls.

And finally, Hederman Hall will be used for overflow housing. Wow. What was classified as a freshman male dorm is now being used to place students that don’t get in any other dorm, a last minute resort.

This has started a conversation that we never thought we would have had. MC students were so upset that many have signed a petition to get this decision turned around.

What makes it even worse is the change of College Plaza. This was designed for juniors and seniors. Where two people could live in an apartment will now be housing for graduates.

What graduate wants to live on campus? This threw me for a loop, and I still don’t understand why. Graduates are usually eager to be on their own. Now, don’t get me wrong, they’re definitely still on their own, but this is where they are paying for classes plus renting what seems like housing.

This change has caused some tension, and it even went as far as students creating a petition to stop this housing process. It started only as 500 signatures, and increased within a week to 1000. However, this did not change anything.

Junior J’Mya Wells, said “Honestly, the change really affects undergrad students the most. We have to pay more for housing but we’re given less options.”

This is true! Housing choices are being taken away from us, but we’re still paying the full price. However, if you’re going to make a change like this, consider some upgrading. Sophomore Jamika Davis, said “I feel like we should have nicer and up-to-date non-premium dorms.”

I believe the students should have had a say in these housing changes. If a survey was implemented, it could have been a well-rounded decision.

“Going to a high prestige college, we do not have a wide variety of available dorms. Latt-Webb is one of the best non-premium dorms that we have and to be stripped away abruptly and told that we have to make arrangements to live in either Gunter, Chrestman, or West is very inconsiderate,” said Christina McCarty.

I guess this is what we have to live with now. Will MC fix it?

 

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