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It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here

By ALLIE ENGLERT
Just a small town girl
“Write about what disturbs you, particularly if it bothers no one else.” This quote from Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help” weighs heavily on the mind of this writer. What bothers her is a very obscure question that would ultimately lead to a ridiculously long exhortation concerning modern day slavery, gendercide in China and how education fails to be a legitimate priority in the United States. Often, mulling over such topics results in this writer questioning her overall faith in humanity. Therefore, for today, we will focus on what disturbs
her particularly on this campus. Georgetown’s housing is simply not up to par. Our home on campus is a far cry from anything comfortable or desirable. Leaky sinks, moldy ceilings, bug infestations and the lack of air-conditioning in Knight Hall is unacceptable in any living space. I’ll say it again—the lack of air conditioning in Knight Hall is unacceptable.  While this may seem like a petty claim, these attributes certainly do not help the tricky transition that several individuals face their freshmen year. To put it into perspective for those fortunate enough to not have spent their freshmen year under the care of Mary Frances, imagine having your mother cry when she left you at the beginning of orientation. This is certainly a common theme for most students when beginning their collegiate career, but what if your mother didn’t cry because she was going to miss you, but she also wept at the thought of leaving you in your less-than-satisfactory dorm room. This may or may not have been the case with this writer’s mother. It’s not that the college’s maintenance workers aren’t doing their duty; it’s that they’re ghting a losing battle. Knight Hall is 60 years old and simply cannot provide the home to freshmen girls that they need. This has been a  problem for several years, but this does not mean that the problem should remain unsolved. Furthermore, one should consider the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements for temperature in the workplace. OSHA recommends a temperature of 68-76 degrees Fahrenheit for the workplace. While our housing facilities are not a place of employment, if one should not be required to endure an eight-hour day in such working conditions, why should an individual be required to eat, sleep and study in such circumstances? Although change is slow within the walls of Georgetown, it’s indisputable that the college is making improvements to our housing facilities. With the help of Barlow Homes, Rucker and Hambrick Villages are certainly giving upperclassmen better options to live in as opposed to the dorms on South Campus. The logic behind these
buildings is understandable. No college would deny a builder willing to build dorms at cost, as has been done with both Rucker and Hambrick. Also, these buildings will hopefully
improve our retention rates. Most students on campus receive Georgetownspecic scholarship funds in addition to any federal nancial aid they qualify for. Thus, GC desperately needs facilities that will attract students who will pay full price, or near full price, to attend our school. However, this raises another question. If we are trying to attract a demographic that can afford Georgetown at full cost, why not improve the living conditions for freshmen? Obviously, this is in the long-term plan, but, time is of the essence, and we must address these issues now. While pleasing upperclassmen is a must, let’s face it: freshmen are the lifeblood of any college. The fact that our freshmen class is down by 113 students is undeniably alarming. What is keeping these students away from Georgetown? Honestly, the fact that our freshmen dorms are less than appealing could be a legitimate reason. Prospective ffemale students are certainly not attracted to the idea of being perpetually sweaty their rst few months at college. While the rooms on display during tours are more attractive than
the average Knight Hall dorm, these potential students and their families probably have a hard time agreeing to living without air conditioning when they realize their male  counterparts have the luxury of A/C. While females may be privileged to have in- room sinks during their stay in Knight, it seems as though anyone in their right mind would choose to live with air conditioning and share community sinks. Moreover, prospective students realize that one of our main competitors, an air-conditioned Transy, is literally 11.1
miles up the road. Transylvania University not only offers air-conditioned rooms, but they also now offer tuition lock-in. This means that although tuition at Transy increases annually, what their freshmen class comes in paying is what they will continue to pay until they graduate, if they opt to do so. In order to attract more students, thus protecting
our Tiger Family, we must make our institution as alluring to visiting students as possible. Improving our freshmen housing would be a step in the right direction. And if you don’t know, now you know, Tigas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.balmer Jonathan Balmer

    Preach it!

  • Tami

    You’re right on target. Recently toured Georgetown and was thoroughly impressed with most but woefully disappointed in Knight Hall. No AC, dingy bathrooms and an unwelcoming entry way. There are equally strong institutions in KY in terms of acedemics. Nasty, hot women’s dorms WILL break the deal for us. Georgetown you have a year before my daughter graduates, get busy or she’ll likely go somewhere else. Where you live while in college IS as important as what you study and who’s instruction you are under while in college!