With my recent exposure to the confusing housing process, it has dawned on me that there are some questionable things going on at this school. First of all, I honestly couldn’t pick where I would want to live because none of the options really appealed to me. Each housing option has its pros and cons, but in no situation did I really think the pros stood out over the cons. Riverview seems like an ideal option, but its catering toward juniors and seniors means that, realistically, only seniors will get to live there.
Hill Court and Towers seem to be along the same lines – they are more exclusively for upperclassmen and much less desirable to live in than Riverview.
The Residential Quad seems like a viable option, except it offers no additional amenities to freshman housing and, with the partial conversion of Tiernan Hall into freshman housing, there’s even less of a possibility of getting assigned there.
Southside has a nice setup, but I don’t think many students are inclined to want to live “on campus” with a 10-minute walk to actually get anywhere on campus.
Along the lines of converting Tiernan into freshman housing, I’m not convinced that UR is making the best decision by increasing student enrollment. Granted, Riverview is going to accommodate almost 500 more students in beautiful new buildings, and supposedly renovations to Towers are in the works, but it seems like these are the first steps in years that are being taken to improve housing, aside from the renovations of the Susan B. Anthony Residence Halls, which don’t really affect the housing choice, seeing as how freshmen are blindly assigned there. I was under the impression that part of the appeal of UR was that it is one of the smallest research universities in the United States. In fact, if you click on the “About Us” tab on the UR Web site, you will see: “The University of Rochester, founded in 1850, is one of the nation’s leading private universities. With just over 4,500 undergraduates, Rochester is one of the smallest and most collegiate in character among the top research universities.” If this is the main fact being boasted about on the Web site, I don’t understand why it’s changing. That was one of the main reasons I came to this school – a high caliber research university that is still small enough to give me the same close attention as I would at a small college. Plus, if we need more buildings, where are they going to go? By Southside? That doesn’t seem to be a favorable option.
If UR were a person, I’d say it’s kind of developing a big head. With the recent acquisition of some prestigious accolades, it seems like we are getting a little spotlight hungry and taking drastic action to get this attention. I’m honestly tired of hearing about how we are one of the top 40 or whatever universities in the world.
I get embarrassed, even nauseated, when I see someone on Facebook in a group along the lines of, “Rochester. Never heard of it? It’s okay, you wouldn’t have gotten in anyways” or “New Ivy Leaguers!” Sure, it’s great that everyone here got into such a good school, but must we harp on it? I’m not trying to say that we don’t have anything to be proud of, but it’s obvious that the school is doing something right, so why all the big changes?
I feel like next year’s change in meal plans will get us to pay more for food of no higher quality than what we have now and this money is going to some other scheme UR is cooking up.
However, I think this proposed expansion could lead to some positive changes. For example, I’d like to perhaps see the formation of a communications department or maybe an undergraduate business program.
Perhaps we just don’t have such resources with the size of our school, but I’ve seen schools of this size with more possibilities and options in terms of areas of concentration.
Maybe with an increase in size we could build up our athletic programs. We have several fairly decent teams and I know we also pride ourselves on being an academically oriented school, but I think bigger sports teams with more attention on them would engender more school spirit and unity.
On a final note, I don’t think this expansion is by any means a death sentence or even a step in the wrong direction, but rather just a contradiction of what I thought this school was all about. I can only hope that we don’t lose sight of what made us the school we are amongst all the recognition.
Stevenson is a member of the class of 2011.