Fresh living requires fresh pricing

by Tabi Hoshmand, Staff Columnist

As a freshman, living in dorms has been a completely different experience than I expected. For one, I’ve never gotten sick so many times in a period of a month-and-a-half. Secondly, every time I go home, I take more showers than ever before because showering without shower shoes is an experience I definitely took for granted. Finally, three people fitting in a room the size of a closet is absolutely ridiculous.

Students in the bigger apartments are lucky considering they have it all:  living rooms, a bathroom fit for an appropriate number of people and all at the same price of the traditional dorms.

Whether it’s the communal bathrooms or sharing a room with three other people, I’ve realized how unfair room-and-board costs are for some of the dormitories compared to other freshmen quarters, such as Chapultepec and University Towers. Now, it’s understandable freshmen had to be moved elsewhere because of the Zura construction, but why is that relocation to the nicer apartments such as Piedro de Sol and Granada? How can an upgrade like that come with no steeper cost? What are the requirements for living in drastically better conditions and who is getting the longer end of the stick?

Many would argue overcharging freshman when they didn’t have a choice in the first place is ridiculous. Well, the fact of the matter is pricing should be based on housing preference and choice upon registration. If an individual wants to live in a nicer apartment or suite, then that option should be made available when freshmen apply for housing. On the other hand, if someone can’t afford certain accommodations, then he or she can choose to live in housing better suited with their financial needs.

Unfortunately for my immune system and the well-being of others in the building, there is a never-ending wave of sicknesses cloaking the dorms.

With all of us living so closely together, inevitable illnesses spread fast and make homes in these dorms.”

Even more so, the air circulates throughout the building giving everyone the chance to get sick.

Maybe this constant war zone will strengthen my immune system, but it’s unlikely. It’s unfair to make students pay the same price as four students in a comfortable apartment or suite. Those with weaker immune systems and health conditions can’t afford the living in an environment where everyone is sick and, therefore, should be given the option to choose.

Although, the culture associated with dorms, such as the open-door policy, gives a sense of community to dorm life, there are other factors that contribute negatively to this lifestyle.

Of all things to rant about, the worst is the communal bathrooms. Granted, we have maintenance to clean the bathrooms on the weekdays, but weekends are a nightmare. Eighty people on one floor means a messy disaster in the girls’ bathroom. Shower shoes are something you don’t realize you hate until you’re forced, but happy, to use in your daily routine.

In apartments, students don’t need to protect themselves from who- knows-what that could be floating in the air. It’s almost scary to even enter the bathrooms on the weekends.

Not only are freshmen in dorms such as Chapultepec frustrated, but so are upperclassmen who wanted to live in the apartments now occupied by freshmen. Of course, it’s not necessarily the fault of freshmen, give the lack of choice, but this unusual circumstance has given way to the realization all prices shouldn’t be the same. The bottom line is if you want nicer housing, you need to pay the price — literally.

In the end, I’m happy to have lived in the dorms only because of the friends I’ve made and the family environment that has given me the ultimate college experience. But financial issues are something to think about when applying to housing and that’s what San Diego State needs to start to taking into consideration.