Upgrade housing, attract more campus residents

On-campus dorms connect students to WSU community, more funding should be put toward making facilities nicer



After their first year at WSU, most students leave the dorms for other options. Living on-campus offers students unparalleled convenience and community, but it lacks some of the most basic quality of life features that don’t let them compete with other places to live.

ALIVIA HILLER, Evergreen columnist

Dorms are a staple to college campuses. They offer a great experience for first years at WSU but are rarely used by many students past their first year.

Living on campus is expensive, especially with the recent increase in housing fees, but it offers many benefits to students and the WSU community. If the WSU administration wants to attract students to a campus residence, they need to ensure their facilities are functional and fairly priced to compete with other homes in the area.

The school needs to update living conditions for students. The current cost increase will not achieve that goal. Students here have a lot of opportunities available to them, but living on campus costs more than necessary. It is not only unfair for students to pay more for on-campus housing, but it’s also detrimental to our community.

Staying on campus encourages students to meet new people, helping to create connections that will hold together even as alumni. Jordan Goggin, a sophomore resident adviser majoring in communication, is fond of campus housing for just this reason.

“It’s a nice way for students who don’t really know a lot of people to gain connections with those around them,” Goggin said.

On-campus living allows students to be close to everything WSU offers. Groceries, entertainment and food are all available on school grounds. This will result in less vehicle use by students and will lower street traffic in Pullman and around campus. It’s the more eco-friendly option as well, as less exhaust gets released in the area.

More people living on campus is also great for increasing engagement with the WSU community. With more people so close to other WSU events, it’s more likely they’ll get involved and contribute in one way or another.

But the housing on campus is far from ideal and comes with a lot of drawbacks. Dorms are small and the living space is not even up to standard in some cases.

“It kind of depends where you live, [but] spacing is gonna be an issue regardless with dorms,” Goggin said.

Living with a lot of people on the floor isn’t an issue with most students, but having two to three people in one room can be hard. WSU is already working on another residence to ease the load on other facilities, but the strain of living in close quarters with someone will always be present in these dorms.

Off-campus apartments and houses are cheaper and give more space and privacy. Put against these options, WSU needs to invest more in the quality of its housing if it can compete.

With some dorms as old as they are, the basic necessities aren’t always up to par. In some of the older dorms, there have been cases of heating loss and plumbing breaking down, leaving students at a loss while still paying a high price.

The decay of old buildings is inevitable and the university reacts to breakdowns as best it can. But an overall upgrade needs to be invested in these spaces for students to have a proper living space for the price being paid.

Living conditions need to be improved on campus to compete with other options. The connections people make with our university and its community are strengthened when they stay on campus, so we should try to make living here as appealing as possible.