NU students forced from rooms to accommodate dorm construction

Lark Turner

University officials have drawn the ire of Freshman Quad residents this week as some students said they are being relocated because of construction.

A multimillion-dollar project to connect the Hinman-Lincoln and Elder Hall residences will create a new residential community next fall. In February, William Banis, vice president for student affairs, told The Daily construction would begin during Spring Quarter.

Tim Hughes, Freshman Quad treasurer, said he was asked to move Wednesday afternoon and has a week to relocate. He and his roommate were given the option of moving into a common room in Elder, a normal room elsewhere on campus or a vacant apartment downstairs in Hinman-Lincoln, usually reserved for a housing staffer.

The students chose to move into the two-room apartment, which is large and has a kitchen and television, the Weinberg freshman said. Two female residents are also being relocated into the apartment. The students were initially notified of the move via e-mail.

“They said we have to be relocated out of our room because of construction,” he said. “The e-mail pretty much just said, ‘Sorry, we have bad news; you’re moving.'”

Hinman-Lincoln resident Samantha Offsay, whose friend is being relocated, said it was not an ideal time for students to move.

“Moving people is a big deal in the first place,” the Weinberg freshman said. “The worst part of it is that you’re moving people (during) midterm week. If they had done this one week ago, no one would have midterms. It’s just inconsiderate to wait when you have this knowledge beforehand. I don’t think any of this is malicious, but it’s just frustrating.”

The students being relocated had a meeting with Area Coordinator Kim Scott on Wednesday night, Hughes said.

“She told us … that we could either be positive about it or negative,” he said.Hughes said he thought the amount of time the residents were given to move was likely a result of a miscommunication between Housing Operations and University Residential Life.

Neither office responded to requests for comment Thursday.

In Elder, students have been moved into the second floor common room, which has angered some students, resident Clark Janifer said.

“Basically, they just said ‘You have a week left in your lounge,'” the Weinberg freshman said. “It’s our lounge. It’s probably at least three times the size of a regular room. There were a lot of other options.”

Some students are living alone in doubles in the dorm and the students living in the lounge were offered a room in Bobb Hall, which they refused, Janifer said.

The University’s Residence Hall Rules and Regulations give the vice president for student affairs the right to move students at any time “without cause or prior notice for health or safety reasons or to protect University property, restore operations, or meet the needs of the University community.” The document is part of the student housing contract. Banis was not contacted for comment on this story.

“I still feel like they shouldn’t be kicking students out of their rooms in the middle of the quarter,” Hughes said. “They’ve given us a more than adequate replacement and it’s in the same building, but I still feel housing was rather insensitive in kicking us out.”[email protected]