Imagine waking up for an 8:40 a.m. class, going into the bathroom and flicking on the light to see a disturbingly large cockroach in the sink. Good morning, indeed.
That is one example of living in one of Temple’s older dormitories. Johnson, Hardwick, Temple Towers and the university sponsored off-campus dorm, Franklin House, are shameful.
Franklin House is, by far, the worst for the 170-plus students who live there. Franklin used to be in Center City Best Western hotel.
There is dirt and dust permanently caked in the corners of the rooms and rust coating the bathroom sinks and shower rods.
The windows don’t close tightly, blinds barely work and rodents and roaches roam the halls. Temple has only been using Franklin House for three years, and it is self-evident that when they bought it they did the bare minimum to make it livable.
Temple Towers is not quite as bad, but there are many that cringe to find it as their housing assignment. These upperclassmen apartments weren’t suitably clean when students moved in three months ago, and now when the heat is on, an unpleasant odor emanates from the furnaces.
Like in Franklin, students are forced to live with mice and roaches. “All in all, [the pests] are really bad,” Kate Duppstadt, a sophomore Towers resident, said.
Fortunately for Duppstadt, she and a few of her dormitory friends won’t be there much longer. “We’re moving into an awesome house,” she said.
Johnson and Hardwick are two primary freshmen dorms that house more than 800 students. They are not air conditioned and the heat barely works. The rooms do not come equipped with their own thermostats, so when the lower floors get cold at night, the students can’t adjust the temperature.
The rooms in Johnson have no shelves, while in Hardwick, the shelves are falling off the walls. Another pet peeve of many J&H residents: The rooms are shoebox-sized, and they aren’t allowed to stack their beds.
More than 4,000 students live in Temple dorms, and every student pays at least $2,400 to live there per semester. That leaves Temple with more than $8 million to keep these dorms operating and up to par.
Yet if these are the conditions of Temple’s dormitories, where is all the money going?
Possibly to the giant, plasma screen TVs in the dining hall and Student Center, or maybe it’s the superfluous waterfall displays attached to the walls of the new Student Center Annex?
Temple housing representatives were unavailable to give any information on the dormitories regarding appropriations of housing payments.
Regardless of where the money goes, it isn’t fair for students to pay what amounts to $500 or $600 rent per month and live under these conditions. It is insulting that those in charge continue to house students in these dorms.
Saying there are no high quality dorms at Temple would be an outright lie. White Hall, 1300, 1940 and a few others are suitable and students living there seem perfectly content.
They are clean, comfortable, well-equipped, without rodents or roaches and everything functions as it should. These dorms are newer and haven’t had enough time to deteriorate.
In 30 or 40 years, will these dorms look like their predecessors? Precautions must be taken before these dormitories can be classified as slums.
Ashley Helaudais can be reached at email@example.com.