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Dorm Living - my, how things have changed!

 
 
jespah
 
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 07:05 am
I attended Boston University (College of Liberal Arts, class of '83). My last two years, I lived in Myles Standish Hall, which was an old hotel. I remember it as faded elegance.

Things have changed at Boston University.

BU Dorm Offers Study in Luxury. From the article, "... So luxurious is the 960-bed dorm that parents’ jaws dropped in disbelief when they helped their children move in last week. The suites of singles and doubles, with elegantly furnished common rooms, large private baths, walk-in closets, and floor-length mirrors, resemble nothing like what older generations remember of their college housing - sterile cinder-block boxes with institutional bunk beds and a communal bathroom down the hall...."

Here's their view: http://cache.boston.com/resize/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2009/09/01/1251860272_3730/539w.jpg

By the way, it's $13k/semester to live there, or $5k more than the other dorms. Of course, you get what you pay for.

In contrast, here's Myles Standish, which is still a working dorm at BU: http://www.bu.edu/today/files/images/articles/MylesStandishHall_v.jpg For my senior year, I lived in the room at the point, second floor from the top, left side. The view of downtown was spectacular, particularly at night. If I can find some of my pics from that time, I'll scan and post them.

I was looking for a pic of the interior of Myles Standish and couldn't find one. This is Shelton Hall, which is somewhat similar (another old hotel): http://www.bu.edu/housing/residences/largedorms/images/gallery/large/shelton-1-large.jpeg
Certainly not the opulence of the new place, eh?

Do you think such a luxurious dorm room is necessary, or even smart?

Comfort? Sure. Safety? Absolutely. Fitness area? Good. Dining? Yes. Wi-Fi? Helpful. Convenience to campus? Necessary.

But beyond that, huh? I mean, this is school, and the economy is not that hot. $13k/semester (a semester is around 13 weeks long) is insane. $26k for a half year of residence (and meals, I assume, are extra) translates into $2167/month, and you still need somewhere to live over the Summer and have to leave for all holidays unless you get permission to stay on campus. This is fairly comparable to an apartment, and the article does mention that BU is attempting to attract juniors and seniors back to living on campus. Fair enough. But when I went to school, the most exciting amenity was a working elevator on moving day. And of course tuition, books and fees are extra. But no one ever went to BU in order to economize.

Gaaahhh, I sound like a curmudgeon.

Whaddaya you think?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 12 • Views: 7,226 • Replies: 33
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 07:12 am
Quote:
. . . sterile cinder-block boxes with institutional bunk beds and a communal bathroom down the hall . . .


This pretty much sums up my impression of college dormitories.

Quote:
Do you think such a luxurious dorm room is necessary, or even smart?


I suppose one could make the argument that this sort of thing fuels a sense of entitlement based on wealth. However, given that such entitlement is a reality in our society, i wouldn't subscribe to such an argument. If parents can't get what they want for their children in a dormitory, they would likely look for a private residence for them. I suspect that they would prefer a dormitory, for the security issue.

When i attended university, the concept of in loco parentis was still in operation, so i did not move to private housing right away. When i did, what i did was technically illegal, but i simply lied on the forms and listed that as my home address, and the university did not require students who were residents of the town to live in dormitories. I guess the assumption was that you were living with your parental units.

So, i would say that for those who can afford it, this is probably a good idea, as it would, at least ostensibly, be a better situation from the point of view of security.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 07:15 am
By the way, that photo of Shelton Hall shows a much roomier accommodation than my experience of dormitories. If that is not the luxury suite, then the luxury suite must be a sybaritic paradise.
Gala
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 12:28 pm
@jespah,
Curmudgeon, nah. I find it to be bizarre. I live in the Washington, DC area and the colleges have their fair share of dorms like you've posted here. Apparently, a suite for 4 students comes with it's own fully equipped kitchen, washer and dryer and private bathrooms.

Even though the economy stinks, there will always be people who can pay.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 12:52 pm
@Setanta,
You can see from the distortion that it was shot with a fairly wide angle lens. I've seen interior shots of vans looking like a suite at the Beverly Hilton.
George
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 01:29 pm
My youngest spent his first year at McGill in Molson Hall (he should have
gotten it for free considering the amount of money I've put in Molson's
coffers over the years -- but I digress). That rez (dorm) is definitely on the
other end of the spectrum from Shelton Hall at BU. His room was so small
he couldn't turn around in it. He had to go outside, turn around, and then go
back in.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 01:38 pm
@George,
I've been there! At the time, it was called the Durango, Co. Holiday Inn.
George
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 01:41 pm
@roger,
That would explain the decor.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 01:45 pm
@roger,
Yeah, that was my thought too.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 02:12 pm
@roger,
That could be it, i hadn't thought of that. The dorm rooms with which i was familiar would not have allowed both residents to stand beside their beds at the same time.
0 Replies
 
Gala
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 02:41 pm
@roger,
It doesn't appear as if the two students in the picture are cramped in-- it may be a wide angle lens, but the room looks spacious.
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 02:49 pm
Having worked in Student Housing for 5 years, I can offer a little insight.

I can't speak for the past and how colleges sold themselves to potential students, but I can tell you've I've gave countless college tours, and I know what potential students ask, and what parents ask.

In terms of housing, we see a shift away from community based living to a unit based living. This is very troubling for me personally, as I worked very hard as a community organizer (Resident Assistant, Senior Resident Assistant, and Assistant Hall Director) on my campus to offer students positive experiences outside of the classroom.

May campus had a variety of living accommodations ranging from the classic cinder block cubes to the lavish four room suites with built in bathroom. A student arrives and doesn't understand things like the value of community, they see only that one place is cosmetically better than the other. It's obvious where they want to live. However, not everyone CAN live there so the cinder block rooms are filled too.

The "nice" rooms don't end up producing better students that are healthier, happier, or more productive. The "nice" rooms only draw interest. Remember, the student is looking at multiple campuses.

It's REALLY sad, but living accommodations account for probably more than half of a student's decision, even over academic programs in my opinion.

College is looked at a lifestyle not an education, at least from the outside. Once in, usually about the middle of the second year, college starts to feel like an education, and you see more students change their behaviors more than simple acclimation.

T
K
O
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 02:59 pm
Wow
I thought I was being a curmudgeon when I'd see ads and flyers showing all the stuff parents should buy for their college bound childrens dorm rooms.

Things like stuff from bed bath and beyond that all matched, and special devices for all sorts of ****.

Another cinder block graduate here....I didn't worry about what my sheets and blankets looked like, or if they matched my roomates and stuff. I remember it being very bare bones.

I didn't want to spend more than I had to, as it would have been casting pearls before swine. I wouldn't need, definately wouldn't want the stuff I lived with in a couple of years, the amount of time I lived in a dorm.

0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 03:05 pm
@Gala,
Definately wide angle. When the objects in the foreground are that disproportionately large, especially in width, I would guess about a 28mm lens, if the digitals use the same scheme. In shots of buildings, the one in the center would be vertical, while the others would appear to lean towards center.
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 03:10 pm
The thing I remember most about BU was the hotness of the babes. BU girls have a notorious reputation.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 03:34 pm
@NickFun,
We've even heard about that in NM.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 03:39 pm
@NickFun,
Quote:
The thing I remember most about BU was the hotness of the babes. BU girls have a notorious reputation.

Well, of course. Jespah's an alumna.

I met my first wife at BU. We were both undergraduates. Her cousin Matt was the house manager of Myles Standish Hall. That was at least 20 years before your time, Jes, when Myles Standish was an all-men's dorm.

BTW, Myles Standish Hall, back when it was a Kenmore Sq. hotel, was where Eugene O'Neill was staying when he decided to commit suicide. There is a persistent tradition that his ghost still haunts those halls.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 03:45 pm
Here in Germany, rooms in dorms look like this (there's somewhere a kitchenette and the shower/bathroom)

http://i29.tinypic.com/2cwu45u.jpg

Costs $300/month, including water, electricty, w-lan, internet flatrate, car park etc.
(A large kitchen is shared by several rooms, as well as the washing masching and dryers.)


I've always had my room(s) in private houses - dorms weren't very numerous in the 70's.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 04:30 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Merry Andrew wrote:
Quote:
The thing I remember most about BU was the hotness of the babes. BU girls have a notorious reputation.

Well, of course. Jespah's an alumna.

I met my first wife at BU. We were both undergraduates. Her cousin Matt was the house manager of Myles Standish Hall. That was at least 20 years before your time, Jes, when Myles Standish was an all-men's dorm.

BTW, Myles Standish Hall, back when it was a Kenmore Sq. hotel, was where Eugene O'Neill was staying when he decided to commit suicide. There is a persistent tradition that his ghost still haunts those halls.


Yep, first year I lived there, first weekend, the Dorm Director told us, Eugene O'Neill said, in this very building, "I was born in a goddammned hotel and I'll die in a goddamned hotel." And he was true to his word.

And, oh yes, the rep of BU girls. Similar to the Pine Manor girls, but we had Lung Eyeland accents.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Sep, 2009 05:00 pm
<there's one now>
0 Replies
 
 

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