Residence Life houses more than 16,000 students in 140 buildings across all four campuses of Rutgers—New Brunswick. Several undergraduate students discussed their own experiences in residence halls and what they think needs to be changed.
Kayleigh Sandman, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, said she has enjoyed her time in residence life due to the social aspect, including having a kind resident assistant and making new friends.
Sandman's positive experience has been disrupted due to consistent vandalism on her floor or recurring messes in the communal bathrooms, though. She said that her room’s location requires her to walk an inconvenient distance to use the bathroom. She has also noticed that the washing machines and dryers are frequently full which makes doing laundry difficult.
"One day, my RA on my floor woke up with a handicap bathroom stall door trapping her inside her room, and the majority of the furniture on our floor was stolen," Sandman said.
She said hiring more cleaning and maintenance staff would be helpful because it can take days to have appliances fixed or replaced.
Additionally, Sandman said that the fire alarm system needs to be improved because there have been instances where she was unsure whether to evacuate or stay inside due to its confusing alerts.
She also said living on campus is much safer compared to living off-campus, but adding peepholes to the doors would help her feel safer in the building as random people may knock on her door.
Jake Dallarda, a School of Arts Sciences sophomore, said living in a residence hall was the last resort for him, but he considers it better than commuting. He said he currently lives in Stonier Hall on the College Avenue campus, and he values its location.
"I like how close it is to the gym and dining hall, and that it’s in the center of the College Avenue campus," he said. "I feel satisfied. I cannot complain."
Dallarda said that he thinks the University should give students control of the air-conditioning in their rooms all year round rather than turning it off when the heat comes on.
Khushmeet Batth, a Rutgers Business School junior, said that his experience with the University's housing has been like any other residence hall experience where he experiences a lack of air conditioning and has to use communal spaces.
Though, he also said that the location of the residence halls is closer to campus than what he would get living off-campus and that he saves money by not having to pay for utilities.
He also said that he recommends living in residence halls for students who are new to campus life at Rutgers.
"You can get used to living on your own and being in charge of your own room," Batth said. "It is an important coming-of-age moment for college students."
Chelsea Obade, a School of Engineering sophomore, said her experience with living in a suite in the Busch Engineering Science and Technology (B.E.S.T.) Hall is enjoyable because the rooms are larger and include a private bathroom.
If there was anything she would change, she would rather have a stove top installed in the kitchen instead of having only an oven as it would be more useful for her and her suitemates, she said.
She also said the maintenance staff is very responsive to any issues that may occur in her suite, and she would strongly consider living in the same residence hall again.
"The room itself is well arranged and very clean and spacious," she said. "Overall, I am satisfied with my experience living here."