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Lofts residents face moving deadline

Culture Editor

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 20:03

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Rachel Sandle

Students face a deadline to move out of the Lofts at 136 due to cost cutting.

 

The Residence Life Office Friday will end its deal with the Lofts at 136 downtown, leaving the
students living there with a choice to move into campus dorms or terminate their contracts.
 
Approximately 170 students — more than half of which are transfer students — have been
housed at the Lofts since Fall 2012 due to ongoing renovations to the Tower 4 residence hall.
 
Early in the venture, however, Residence Life discovered it was costing more to house students
and provide a shuttle to and from campus than it would to move the students into housing on
campus.
 
Curtis Brickhouse, associate director of Residence Life, said not only does it cost money for
students to stay in the Lofts, but also it distances them from campus resources.
 
“We want them back to campus as quickly as possible,” he said. “Overall, we want them to
have the residential Buffalo State experience and be closer to all the resources that are here on
campus.”
 
The decision for the relocation has been cause for inconvenience and was not communicated
clearly to the students housed in the Lofts, according to senior English secondary education
major Sheree Grant.
 
“No one really came to the students. They had two meetings and made it sound as though [the
meetings] were optional,” Grant said. “I had class at those times, so I couldn’t make it.”
 
When she heard one week ago that she and 80 other transfer students would have to pack up
their stuff and move out of their apartments by March 8, she thought it was hearsay.
 
“I heard it from the shuttle bus driver first,” Grant said, adding that she spoke with a friend of
hers who was an RA at the Lofts who confirmed the rumor.
 
Racheal Johnson, a sophomore economics and financing major, had a similar situation.
 
“We were told we had to attend at least one of the two meetings last week to receive
information, either last week or the week before last,” she said. “We weren’t given a lot of time
to let the information sink in or (to prepare).”
 
Brickhouse said the reason space opened up to provide for the move is because some students
from last semester never showed up again in the spring.
 
“We have what we call ‘no shows’ — students who don’t come back to the residence halls or to
campus for a variety of reasons,” he said. “So, we don’t have those spaces that we would like to
have in the beginning of the semester for a lot of those reasons.”
 
After the Residence Life Office can confirm the absent students are not coming back and
arrange for them to pick up any personal items left in the dorms, students housed off campus
can start moving back in, Brickhouse said.
 
“We want to do this as early as possible and this was the earliest opportunity we had to get the
students back to campus,” he said. “It becomes later and they’re further on into their academic
studies and working on projects, so earlier, while they’re still developing that, is ideally better.”
 
Brickhouse said four informational meetings were held at the Lofts to help students prepare for
the move and that extra time would be given to students where necessary.
 
“We recognize that some of the students might not be able to be out as quickly as possible, so
we’re trying to work with those individuals,” he said. “Originally, we had set up for three assisted
move-back days where we have the moving company help them move their stuff from the Lofts
back to campus, but we added a fourth day for those students who needed some more time.”
 
The situation has nonetheless caused a fair amount of stress among the residents, who are still
in the process of moving.
 
“It’s around midterm time, so people are studying,” Grant said. “Also, one girl I know has severe
anxiety, a suitemate of mine has a learning disability, and another suitemate is pregnant. It’s a
very stressful situation for all of us.”
 
Johnson has taken it a step further, creating a petition and voicing her opinions on Buffalo
State’s Facebook page, where others – including students’ parents – have joined in.
 
“Moving [onto campus] isn’t my quarrel,” Johnson said. “It’s the fact that they aren’t
accommodating us and are charging us $1000 to move when we aren’t the ones who want to
move. It’s a huge inconvenience to our studies.”
 
Grant, meanwhile, has since terminated her contract with Residence Life, along with all but
one of her suitemates, and is living at the Lofts as an independent tenant. She credited general
manager Toni Badillo with being on top of the situation, and helping whenever possible.
 
For her part, Badillo wants Buffalo State students to stay at the Lofts.
 
“We welcome the Buffalo State community,” she said. “We love having the students here. If
they’re making other decisions, we are making ourselves available to them.”
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Katie Anderson contributed to this report.
 
Angelica Rodriguez can be reached by email at rodriguez.record@live.com.

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