As a student who has lived in Southside for two years, I find myself particularly disagreeing with the Southside section of Charlie Fountaine’s article “Campus housing has room for improvement.” Because Fountaine has never resided in Southside, I feel that his opinions are based merely on the negative connotations of Southside rather than from supporting facts or viewpoints from residents.
Fountaine argues that Southside is an inferior residential building because of its distance from campus and the lack of availability of food for residents.
Although it is a few extra minutes of walking, residents do have the option of taking the Blue Line bus or the new Park Lot shuttle that runs every 15 minutes. Also, there is no mention of the deKiewiet Corner Store, which opened in October of 2006, nor the quick access residents have to the cafeteria at Strong, both of which accept Declining Balance dollars.
Fountaine then states that Southside is the “? last resort for students on the short end of the housing lottery stick.”
This is a false statement. Southside filled up the majority of its room availability during the early room draw, meaning that Southside was the first-choice housing for many students.
My intent in writing this letter is solely an effort to diminish the negative connotations of Southside. The Community Organizing Group and the Resident Advisors continue to work hard to improve the community by refurbishing the pool tables, renovating the Valentine lounge, setting up an ATM, and creating hall programs that connect residents both to their own area and campus activities, among many other successful endeavors. The addition of the Maisonettes has also encouraged a more welcoming atmosphere, with residents now barbecuing outside and hanging out by the picnic tables.
The “isolation” stereotype is merely rooted from the more independent and mature atmosphere that living in an apartment-like dorm comes from.
Of course Southside is a different environment than other dorms on campus, but, as many fellow residents would agree, there is nothing negative about it.
-Novall KhanClass of 2009