Maya and Olmeca have poor living conditions, yet students pay same price as those in new dorms

by Chelsey Crowne, Contributor

Not all living situations are equal, and none are more aware of this than the residents of Maya and Olmeca, two of San Diego State’s freshman dorms.

Neither hall has been renovated since their construction in 1960, which has led to a wide array of problems from regularly broken amenities to evacuation-forcing mold levels.

Residing in any kind of dorm has its downsides, but conditions in Maya and Olmeca are unacceptable for the cost students pay.

“It is unfair that Maya and Olmeca have the same mandatory price as the other nice dorms when they have zero advantages over them and haven’t been renovated, besides maybe a paint job, in so long,” said finance sophomore Teague Quillin who lived in Olmeca as a freshman.

The price of living in any SDSU freshman residence halls is steep, at more than $1000 a month, even before factoring in extra required costs such as meal plans and ARC memberships. That’s just the price of living on campus. But, it is absurd that students living in the newly renovated South Campus Plaza and those living in Maya or Olmeca pay the same despite the substantial gap in housing quality.

This gap in living conditions is appalling when one considers that the majority of freshmen are required by the university to live on campus.

New students are subjected to lower living standards than they may be able to find off-campus for a cheaper price.

SDSU offers cheaper rates for those who dorm with multiple roommates, so it should be possible for them to give discounts to students assigned to Maya or Olmeca as compensation for the potentially, and historically, unsanitary living conditions.

Both buildings are scheduled to undergo remodelling this summer. This only kicks the problem further down the line.

Given current construction trends, it looks as though all residence halls will be receiving a makeover at some point in the near future. But, there is no reason to believe that SDSU will not neglect another housing facility for another 50 years.

It should have never gotten to this point.

SDSU housing should take into account the problems that its residents face, and if such instances that have occurred in Maya and Olmeca occur in another hall one day, those students should be offered a discounted cost or at least the option to transfer to another building.