April 16, 2014

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Students asked to leave the quads

Maria Uminski/Collegian

Most University of Massachusetts students with on-campus housing moved back into the same room they lived in last semester, but not everyone had this luxury.

Many students who lived in mixed-year quads spent yesterday moving out of their rooms and into other housing after being told to leave by Residence Life at the end of the fall semester. Freshmen will remain in the quads.

Due to the growing student population and demand for on-campus housing,  a number of students were placed in or elected to live in temporary housing when picking their housing assignments last spring. Among them was sophomore Brianna Bias, who decided to live in a quad in Orchard Hill Residential Area.

However, one quick and reportedly confusing email from housing changed all that, much to Bias’s chagrin.

“To be honest, they didn’t really explain why we were being forced to move, and that made a lot of people angry,” said Bias. “We should have the right to at least know why we’re being made to find new housing, but we weren’t even given that.”

Students were informed before electing to move into the quads that quad housing was temporary, and that they would likely have to leave come the spring semester, said Executive Director of News and Media Relations, Edward Blaguszewski.

Despite this warning, Bias said she was confused when Residence Life required her and many others to leave the quads. She said that though they were informed it was temporary housing, she was unclear on why exactly she had to leave and that she hoped there were good reasons behind it.

Bias’s roommate, sophomore Abbey Wells, was equally unhappy to leave her quad, and said that even though she was told there was a good chance she was going to have to leave, she had hoped to live there second semester.

“I wish we were given the choice of staying in the quads,” said Wells. “I became friends with the girls I lived with. I liked it a lot, and I wish I could have stayed the whole year.”

Residence Director Noga Flory said, people who lived in mixed-year quads were given the courtesy of being permitted to leave their belongings in the quad over winter break to make moving into other arrangements easier.

Residents have until Tuesday to move out. After they leave, the quads will be converted back into lounge spaces for the remaining residents on the floor to use, said Flory.

Edward Hull, executive director of Residential Life, was unavailable for comment.

Wells also said the email she received about leaving the quad “was a bit confusing” and indirect.

While many students were required to leave the quads, some freshmen were not, including Dan Surdyka, who said he will be returning to his quad in Webster Residence Hall this spring semester.

“I had no idea anyone was being asked to leave the quads,” Surdyka said. “I haven’t heard about this before.”

Students being forced to leave the quads were given an earlier room selection time, allowing them the opportunity to snatch dorm and apartment housing made available to the student body by students moving off-campus or leaving the University.

“I’d like to hope that there is some logic behind the process … a reason for making the quads available for only one semester before taking them away, but I can’t really see it,” said Bias. “That’s all I feel I can ask for: an explanation as to why this game of housing musical chairs is necessary.”

Steffi Porter can be reached at steffi@student.umass.edu.

Comments
One Response to “Students asked to leave the quads”
  1. Brian says:

    Sounds like the University gave non-first-year students who were unable to find on campus housing a one semester long grace period to live in lounges, then preferential treatment to those students to snatch up room openings at the end of fall semester.

    It’s not clear in the article whether the students were able to find housing on campus or off campus, if they took heed of the policy initially laid out, or took advantage of the preferential room selection.

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