While students are away over the summer, The Residence Hall Association (RHA) implements changes based on student feedback.
During Wednesday’s Student Government meeting, Director of Residential Life Cindy Janney gave a presentation detailing how the RHA is in the planning stages of room and meal plan rates for the 2024-25 school year.
New windows and shades were put into McElroy’s E Hall. McElroy’s G Hall got new closets and medicine cabinets which haven’t been replaced in 60 years. Future work in McElroy includes temperature adjustments.
“Next summer, McElroy will have air conditioning and temperature adjustment in the room. In two years, we’ll be at a point where all of our residence halls have air conditioning,” Janney said. “We’re looking forward to that and we wish we would have already had it this August.”
Additional improvements include energy-saving LED lighting in all Preska dorms and an air-conditioning upgrade in the dining center’s dishroom.
Janney explained room rates cover more than just the room and furnishings. It also includes utilities, internet and front desk services to name a few. Meal plan rates cover the food, staff and maintenance of the dining center.
The rates are set by reviewing current and projected expenses. After proposal rates, RHA considers services and amenities students may want. A rate is then set to meet those needs.
A commonly asked question Janney hears is if room and meal rates would be affected if a tuition freeze were to go into place.
“Room and meal rates are a fee a student chooses to pay. It’s not a mandatory fee because no one’s required by the university to live on campus,” Janney said. “Consequently, a tuition freeze does not apply to those rates.”
Janney said the residence halls, like “a mortgage for a house,” hold long-term debt.
“When Residential Life builds a new residence hall, we’re figuring out the plan for how we’re going to pay for that over the next 20 years, just as a person figures out when they buy a house,” Janney said.
Through the student consultation process, student feedback has resulted in residence hall and dining center changes such as reusable to-go containers, free laundry and supplying toilet paper in private bathrooms.
Any student who has an idea to improve the residence halls is encouraged to bring their ideas to the residential life staff.
Header photo: Cindy Janney gave a presentation detailing how the RHA is in planning stages of room and meal plan rates for the 2024-25 school year. (Alexis Darkow/The Reporter)
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