A residence hall is a place for students to congregate. With couches, rooms and a place to study, a dorm building should be the last place one would think about shopping.
By spring of 2011, the University will start building its new residence hall east of the Campus Center to facilitate the large increase of students to campus and to improve living conditions for those who currently live in older dorm buildings such as Stu-Han.
However, the city of La Verne is requiring that there be a commercial business inside of the new residence hall. The commercial business will hopefully help decrease the more than $3 million deficit that the city currently faces thanks to decreased tax revenues.
In the beginning of fall semester, the residence halls were filled to their maximum capacity; 50 students were moved to the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel, many rooms in the Oaks were tripled, and a long list of students on the waiting list piled up.
A new residence hall was something that was desperately needed.
The new residence hall is supposed to act as an upgrade to the Brandt and Stu-Han residence halls as well as provide more on campus housing.
However the implementation of a commercial building will only take space away from students. A space that could be utilized for more rooms or the construction of a student space similar to the large lounges of Stu-Han and Brandt or even a gym.
The addition of a commercial building not only takes away space but adds a security risk. Although there will be no entrance into the dorms from the business, it will allow people outside the community to congregate near the residence halls.
In recent weeks there have been several issues with people following residence to their dorms, loitering outside the dorms and even attempting to get into students room. The commercial business could still jeopardize the safety of La Verne students.
The situation is similar to the construction of the Campus Center.
Students were promised a student center, a place for students to congregate, relax and spend free time.
However, after the construction the students were left with a small space on the first floor, while the rest of the building was more geared towards academics and offices, including a large amount of conference spaces for administration.
Although the addition of the commercial business to the new residence hall is a requirement set by the city of La Verne, it does not make the situation any better.
To the city of La Verne: Does the city really need to place a commercial business into the residence halls when there is constantly at least one open space in old town La Verne? The city council should be trying to improve the downtown area instead of taking over the little part of the city that the University has.