opinion

COLUMN: No housing, no problem



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McNutt Quadrangle is located at 1101 N. Fee Lane. Alex Deryn Buy Photos

Students rely heavily on IU. They expect an education, memorable experiences and to feel at home.

Students come to this campus expecting to receive all of these benefits, but it seems that a mistake on IU’s part has resulted in the exclusion of one of the key benefits for IU students. 

Mold, which has been partly attributed to faulty mechanical systems and humid summers, has plagued a number of IU dormitories, resulting in their closures and a housing shortage. Although many students blame IU for this problem, and have more than the right to do so, it’s important to recognize IU’s tremendous effort to account for and fix what they’ve done. 

This huge debacle has certainly worsened IU’s reputation with students. Many believe the mold outbreak is the direct result of the university’s attempts to save money. Others believe IU just doesn’t care about their students. 

While these people are more than entitled to these thoughts, IU does care about their students. Those who choose to attend IU are the college’s lifeline. Surely, the last thing IU wants to do is harm those who hope to one day refer to it as their alma mater. 

I won’t defend IU for the mistake they made. Certainly, steps could have been taken to prevent this. No university would intentionally close down two of its much-needed dorms just in time for an incoming freshman class. 

Yet, here we are with both Foster and McNutt quads set to close for renovations and mold removal beginning fall 2019. 

The Foster and McNutt renovation had been planned long before the mold was even discovered. Upon discovery of the mold, however, the university pushed the renovations up to Fall 2019. 

At this point, it was the best option they had. It wouldn’t exactly be efficient for IU to close Foster and McNutt for mold removal and close them again for renovations just a year or two later. 

Mold isn’t exactly easy to get rid of, so conducting a complete removal from the foundation up is certainly the way to go. Foster and McNutt have been due for an upgrade for quite some time now, and they’ll finally be getting it. 

Not only will they be mold free, but they’ll have more modern features like at Forest Quad. Most importantly, the renovation will provide mechanical upgrades that should prevent any future outbreaks of mold. 

Many people wonder what living conditions incoming freshmen should expect. IU has always stressed the importance of freshmen living on campus. So, all freshmen will be living on campus regardless of the closures. 

It’s impressive that IU was still able to pull this off. It did, however, come at a cost. Many sophomores, juniors and seniors who hoped to live on campus will not have a choice in the matter. 

Students who had already signed a housing contract earlier in the year with IU Residential Programs and Services will instead be living in off-campus apartments. 

IU, however, is only charging these students the same flat rate they would have paid in the dorms. This has left IU to pay for utilities and arrange for bus or shuttle transportation to and from campus. Plus, the students get free parking. 

This seems like a great deal to me. I can’t help but be a bit jealous of the students who were able to take advantage of such a great housing opportunity. 

Again, IU certainly isn’t innocent in this entire matter, but they’re making huge efforts to right their wrongs.  

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