Housing updates buildings, gains Hodgins
Misinformation and rumors have been flying around campus about the changes in housing that are starting next semester.
This is especially true in regards to the newly purchased Hodgins Retreat, now called the East Apartments, where Guilford has been sending out many emails to residents at different times with completely contradictory information.
The inconsistent information is an especially serious issue considering that most of these housing changes will affect every person on campus in the future with some affecting anyone who lives nearby.
The biggest change for students is the purchasing of the new apartments, which is also the most problematic and controversial aspect of the new housing situation.
The main problem is that people already live in those apartments, both students and Greensboro residents. Those living in the apartments did not have any say in Guilford acquiring their homes and are being forced to leave by certain dates. Residents are receiving no help when it comes to finding new places to live.
“They did send out emails and notices saying you had to move out by this date and you don’t have to pay any fees for cancelling your lease early, but it’s not that helpful,” said Zi Huang, a graduating senior who is living at Hodgins.
According to Huang, at least three emails have been sent out saying what day he must move out of his apartment, but every email has said a different day.
“It’s frustrating because I don’t know when I should move out,” said Huang.
When asked, Curtis Arena, housing operations coordinator, said that Guilford students would not be told to leave their apartments until the day after graduation.
Of course, finding a new place to live is one more frustration for students who are already stressed and trying to graduate. As for other building residents, he was not completely sure what day they were being told to leave by.
Overall, it is a mess. Although a new residence option may be necessary, the fact remains that Guilford is kicking people out from their homes and is doing so without giving out clear information and deadlines.
The College is not doing this entirely without reason, however. They purchased the East Apartments to facilitate changes to Binford Hall, namely adding an elevator and a sprinkler system.
These changes are a long time coming, especially the elevator. Students have brought up multiple times in past years how necessary elevators are, but no residential hall on Guilford’s campus currently has one.
This is incredibly limiting for many students with physical disabilities, as they cannot live anywhere except the first floor of most halls and cannot visit their friends on higher floors.
While Binford gaining an elevator and sprinklers is progress, it’s not enough. As Milner and Bryan Halls go offline intermittently in the next three years, they will hopefully get similar changes.
One other positive piece stemming from the changes in housing is that Shore Hall is becoming entirely gender inclusive. In past years, students have campaigned for this change and have only gotten the basement of the building to be gender inclusive.
Now all three floors will have an intentionally supportive environment where students can live with each other regardless of gender identity or expression.
“Last year, the amount of people who were willing to live in the community did not end up being that large,” said Arena. “This year, we’re just dedicating the whole community regardless as gender inclusive. It was a move we thought was necessary, and hopefully, it is well-received and filled.”
This change sends a clear message of support to transgender and gender-nonconforming students, and the elevators being added sends a similar message of support to students with disabilities.
While Guilford is doing well in these changes, the fact remains that it needs to do a better job considering the people living in Hodgins. While there are no easy solutions to the situation, a start would be giving everyone clear deadlines and helping to find new living spaces for those who need them.