Eastern’s Freshman Living Communities: Eastern’s new freshman dorm policy will create a bigger divide among the EU community.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors are upset about the new housing policy change taking place in Fall 2022. Gough, a primarily upper class man building, has now become an entirely freshman building. Eastern students are upset that the administration decided to pass this policy after SGA explained it was not a good idea. Administration completely discarded what our student government had to say and made their own choice. 

I believe this is a bad choice on the administration’s part because they knew how their students felt and went ahead with it. It sets the standard that our voices do not matter. We have our own thoughts and opinions on what Eastern administration does, however, their decision shows that our voice is not as important as they say they are. 

They care more about the incoming students rather than the students who are already here. Upperclassmen normally get the nicer buildings, Gough being one of them, but now we have a limited selection of housing and many upperclassmen may end up in a worse building rather than a nicer one. I know seniority is a rule but sometimes that gets tossed out the window.  

SGA has been trying to reverse this, and for that I am thankful. Having Gough as a freshman building is going to create a sense of divide between our community rather than connection. Eastern wants to build community with their students, but by disregarding what students had to say, they have created a divide that will only get worse next semester. 

Many students, especially those who live in Gough, are lost on what to do. Housing has become more stressful and it seems as though the administration cares that the freshmen have a nicer building and not those who have been here longer. It would make more sense for the incoming freshman to have Kea-Guffin and Hainer or Doane, not Gough. 

Many students on campus have voiced their opinions, RAs included, about the policy and believe that it is going to cause freshmen to be isolated and upperclassmen to ignore them. I know I found it helpful living in a building with upperclassmen because they were able to help me figure things out like where buildings and classrooms were, how to access Eastern’s online system “my.eastern.edu” and how to set up my Brightspace page. 

There was a sense of acceptance from the upperclassmen because we were on the same floor or in the same building. Now, freshmen are thrown into one building with no one but RAs to rely on who have other duties outside of helping freshmen find classes. 

It affects every person on campus, not just the freshmen. The students living in Gough are scrambling to figure out what to do about their living situation while balancing schoolwork and activities. SGA has tried to reverse the change and Eastern administration will not hear them out. Eastern markets itself as building community and connections but how can they do that if they are isolating freshmen from upperclassmen? 

This decision has blind sided many people after the administration was told to not do it. I feel that there were good intentions when it came to this decision but it was executed poorly and there has been no explanation as to why they did not listen to SGA or why administration believes this will benefit us all. I wish Eastern administrators would listen to what their current students have to say. A sense of divide has been created and the incoming freshmen class have not even arrived yet. I believe that once they are on campus, the divide may become greater.

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