An update on student’s opinions of Tarleton Housing

By: Taite Read

Graphic Designer 

This is an update to an column published by the Texan News Service (TNS) earlier this month. 

Tarleton State University’s website describes their housing options as a “home away from home,” but current residents and residential leaders may disagree. 

Imagine it is your freshman year all over again. You’re excited because you get to move into the dorms. You might be living with your best friend, or you might be moving in with someone random. Either way it is a new adventure, and you cannot wait. 

I posted two surveys for current students who live or lived on campus and another survey for residential leaders (RL). 

RLs go through training every fall and spring. In the survey, they were asked if they felt the Department of Residence Life does a good job of training and teaching the material they needed to fulfil their duties.

“They train you for the bare minimum of administrative duties and briefly touch on a serious topics,” one RL said in the survey. 

Junior Jessi Whisenant, a second year RL in Traditions North, says she has also experienced problems with the lack of training. 

“You are never trained for that situation in the real raw part of what it is going to be and what you are going to experience,” said Whisenant. “Handling a room full of 8-10 underage drinkers that are drunk. How are you supposed to handle that if you are not trained 100%?” 

Being an RL comes with its struggles and its pros and cons. The survey asked if RL’s enjoyed their job and asked them to rate it from a 1, being the lowest, through 5 meaning they loved it.

Majority of the RLs said they enjoy their job. 

In the second survey, residents and current students were asked if they have/had problems within their dorm. I gave them choices such as hot water, bathrooms, bugs, safety etc. 

We kept the poll open for students to continue to fill out the survey after the story was published online to see if other students would want to add their thoughts on housing. 

Out of 25 students 16 of the responses were “Wi-Fi.” Next in line was “hot water” with 12 votes. Tied for third with 9 votes was “hot water in the showers” and the “laundry rooms.”

Dan Johnson, a second-year resident, pinpointed what his main issue was in the resident halls. 

Dan Johnson, a second-year resident.
Photo by: Taite Read

“The elevators hardly work at Traditions North,” Johnson said. “The one thing I do wish they would have done was cleaned my room before I moved in.” 

I personally lived in Legends Hall my freshman year, and the bugs and air conditioning were my biggest issues. 

There were constantly ants coming through my shower, and I would always have to double bag snacks even if they were already sealed because the ants would find them.

If you turned my air conditioning past 73 degrees, the room would get muggy and humid, but I also enjoyed the dorms. 

I loved being able to wake up in the mornings and walk five minutes to class every day. Especially on days when I had an 8 a.m. 

My RL also made my time in the dorm enjoyable. She would reach out during mid-terms, finals, and class registration to see if we needed help. 

She made it known that if we needed help with anything, we could go to her. 

Although, not everyone has the same experience with their RLs. Johnson, for example, has some mixed feelings about the RLs in his building. 

“There has been a couple of experiences that I felt unwelcome walking into or around my dorm,” Johnson said. 

As residents, we don’t see all the tasks that go unrecognized. They make sure their residents are mentally ok and if not, they help them in the best way they can. 

RLs are almost like a guiding hand your freshman year.

They make rounds when on call to check and make sure all doors are locked and the building is safe for their residents.

“As RLs we do two sets of rounds per night when we’re on call,” Whisenant said. 

When the RLs take their rounds, they make sure that the doors are locked and there are not any safety hazards. 

There is also an on-call number all residents can call any time after hours. The on-call number is placed behind every residential door for residents’ convenience, whether that be for filing noise complaints, needing help to get into their room or just needing to talk. 

According to Tarleton’s website, “Tarleton supports a live-on requirement of two years for new incoming students (freshmen) and transfer students with less than 12 credit hours, including students with AP and dual-credit. Transfer students with more than 12 credit hours are required to live on campus for one year.” 

I believe every freshman needs to live on campus. Living on campus your first at college helps you meet other friends and become comfortable with the university. 

Someone in the survey could disagree with me. 

“People shouldn’t have to live on campus for two years,” was a response from the survey. 

I believe living on campus is also a way to become more involved. You see firsthand everything that happens on campus. 

You can see all the organizations in the dining hall eating together or walking to class together. 

If I wouldn’t have lived on campus my first year, I would not have created the friendships with others in my hall or I wouldn’t have become involved.

The Housing Department of Residence Life was contacted and did not comment.

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