In defense of Hoovervilles


Sarah Lentz, Opinion Editor

It looks like dorm dwellers in Wayne America are going to be getting pretty cozy next fall.

The Bowen Hall renovation plan has changed from fixing up the dorm in phases to doing all the updating in one big chunk, leaving 400 students to be placed elsewhere.

400 students is a sizable segment of the student body to disperse throughout campus. Are we going to be seeing a Wayne State Hooverville?

It might be kind of rustic and homey to see a tiny tent city pop up in the green space. Students warming themselves by campfires, impromptu harmonica concerts every night. Now that’s a college experience to remember.

Okay, maybe it won’t be as extreme as all that, but the Bowen renovation is going to make things interesting in the fall.

We would guess that fitting in that amount of displaced students means that private rooms won’t be allowed next semester, even for resident assistants (RAs).

RAs are privy to more information than the average student, some of which can be sensitive. A floor’s RA is a person students can turn to confidentially, should they feel the need to. They also have to deal with some disciplinary actions and reporting that they would want to keep private. We wonder how this important service will change if the Bowen refugee crisis means they have to take on roomies.

This situation may have ramifications for off-campus students as well. There is a big possibility that with the influx of students trying to avoid crowding by moving off campus, local landlords may raise rent prices. With students paying higher rent, there’ll be more students looking for jobs, which may or may not exist. Maybe everyone will be feeling the crunch.

There is no doubt that fitting an extra 400 students into the other dorms is going to be a challenge. Some people are going to be uncomfortable, and it’s going to take patience from everyone involved for the renovation to go smoothly. Hopefully, the renovation results will make the crowding worth it.

And if not, there’s always the greenspace and the Wayne State Hooverville.