Photo by EMMA GROSSBAUER
It seems that over the past few years Alma College has taken a lot of initiative when it comes to updating the infrastructure on campus. In the time the senior class has been at Alma, they have redone all the North Campus dorms, Dow lobby, and built the new Zeta Sigma House.
These renovations have done some serious updating to North Campus. I lived in Newberry and Mitchell Hall, pre-renovation. Now that I’m living in Mitchell again, these updates to the North Campus dorm buildings were truly beneficial.
Besides some minor complaints about shower drains, Alma College provided North Campus dorms with the best the college had to offer when they renovated. The changes to Mitchell Hall made it a truly different living experience than when I lived there Freshman Year.
The newly planned renovations to the chapel and Swanson Academic Center are next in line to be renovated and updated for the 21st century. The updates to these buildings were announced over Homecoming weekend and caused a lot of commotion.
I think these renovations are really going to be beneficial to a large majority of campus. An updated Library and Chapel allows the college to expand in a genuinely positive way, but I can’t help but think about if these renovations are the most urgent.
I lived on South Campus for two semesters while I’ve been at Alma College, and I can’t help but notice the deterioration on those buildings: whole tiles missing in bathrooms, semi-functioning heat and general signs of decay.
South campus housing has its perks. Suite style living appeals to a lot of students, and its location proves to be convenient; however, people can be reluctant to live there because of the overall deterioration of the dorms.
While I lived there, I experienced missing bathroom floor tiles, shower water that was tinted yellow and flooding in the laundry room—a laundry room that was already creepy and inconvenient. The college facilities department was on speed dial, and while they were not always expedient in fixing things, the job always got done.
South campus needs some serious updating from the college. What was done to Newberry and Mitchell last summer should come to the south campus dorms sooner rather than later.
Many students have had complaints that all of the underclassmen dorms have been renovated, while a solid majority of junior and senior students live in the oldest housing on campus. Some students—including myself— have found ways to keep living on North Campus even though they are an upperclassman.
Everyone can argue that what is important to them should be the first one to get renovated. Humans naturally put themselves ahead of others, so that’s what students are going to do when they think they are smarter than administration.