Mixed results and poor planning from the College

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September 5, 2013

10:00 AM

In just one year’s time, the construction and renovation of major buildings have profoundly changed the appearance of some sections of the College of William and Mary and the living experience for many of its residents. While the sheer ambition and relative success of these projects are commendable, there are aspects of these changes that either could have been improved or perhaps could have been completed at a later time.

The Williamsburg Hospitality House, which the College acquired at the end of last semester, was converted into housing for hundreds of upperclassmen as One Tribe Place. Its inclusion allowed the College to end the waiting list for on-campus housing and provided students with the chance to live in a hotel. There have been a quite a few bumps in the road, however. This summer, due to a mold problem, Residence Life bumped a number of students who had been promised rooms in One Tribe Place to Chandler Hall. Chandler had already been taken offline, so the College had to scramble to put it back online to accommodate the displaced students. Additionally, One Tribe Place also has no laundry access, and it will stay that way until December. The parking situation is a mess, and residents have accidentally demagnetized their key cards by holding them too close to their phones.

Tucker Hall, while significantly improved, was only completed approximately 24 hours before the first day of classes, nearly forcing professors to hold their classes in Tyler Hall, Sadler or not at all.

Another monumental project, the construction of the fraternity housing complex, has been plagued with delays, and even though the fraternity houses themselves are finished, the community building is not, with its area director, Shylan Scott, still not living in her apartment.gra

The updated keycard system, which most students probably haven’t noticed, hasn’t been consistent, in one instance preventing transfer students living in Ludwell Apartments from entering their buildings. Although these problems will likely be solved quickly, they pose safety concerns in the meantime.

The one major improvement on campus that we consider an unmitigated success is the expansion of the Sadler dining hall. Its massively increased capacity, greater food variety and late-night dining options show a terrific responsiveness to student opinion, attracting mobs of hungry undergraduates during mealtimes.

The College ought to be proud of the progress it made this summer — future students will reap the benefits — but maybe it took on too much. More foresight might have prepared the College to more efficiently deal with the challenges its ambitious projects created. The College shouldn’t have to break promises to students or risk class disruption in order to finish projects that could have been planned more effectively.

Abby Boyle recused herself from this staff editorial to remain unbiased in her reporting. Meredith Ramey recused herself from this staff editorial due to a conflict of interest.

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