The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Students Criticize the State of CSU Stanislaus’ Dorms

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The exterior of the CSU Stanislaus’ dorms front office. (Signal Photos/Marc Anthony Briones)

Dorms are a quintessential part of the college experience.  Love them or hate them, the dorms continue to house a large chunk of CSU Stanislaus’ population, regardless of the horror stories of rowdy roommates, infestations, and poor amenities.

I lived in the dorms last year and currently live in the dorms this year as well, but I noticed many of my friends and students I saw around no longer lived here. It’s strange to see how overpopulated the dorms are this year.

Rumors in the dorms say that getting into housing was extra difficult this year because there were a lot of incoming students and only so many could be accepted into the already populated dorms.

I have yet to hear of anyone actually getting denied living on campus and when an accidental flood had around 36 students moved to empty spots in the dorms I realized that the dorms are not as populated as the rumors had me believe. 

That was when I decided to investigate.  

I first reached out to Luke McMahon (Sophomore/Exercise Science), a track athlete for the school.  As an athlete with a more muscular build, the low-end furnishing and compact apartment had Luke feeling like he just didn’t fit in, literally.

He says that he could touch both sides of the room just by spreading his arms out. Equally alarming, the walls were also thin enough to hear “everything that was going on” with his roommates.

“Overall it was kinda a depressing experience, the rooms are small, the beds are small, and I’m a big dude, my shoulders touched each end of the bed. Rolling over I would be falling out of bed, which I think is a little ridiculous,” he said.

The showers posed similar problems.

“The showers were just not great,” McMahon says. “[I would be] trying to turn over and both my shoulders were hitting the wall back and forth… it felt like I was in a telephone booth.”

Luke also expressed concerns about the actual mattress he slept on. Even with a mattress topper, which he provided himself, he still felt like he was “sleeping on top of a cardboard slab.”

Luke says the price he used to pay at the dorms is around the same price as what he pays to live in the Vistas. Compared to the dorms, he gets a bigger room, personal and bigger shower, and feels more at home. The distance from where he lives now is the same as when he lived in the dorms.  

Theodore Alverez (Junior/Child Development) also struggled with dorm living during his stay during the 2022-2023 school year.  Theo says he chose the dorms for convenience, but now lives in the Vistas and is more comfortable there. 

“[The Vistas are] not that far away, plus the pricing, plus the amenities they have here, plus you don’t have to pay for parking… I got my car this semester and in the dorms, I know you have to pay for a car.  My roommate used to park it way in the boonies, in the neighborhood,” he said.

Theo says his experience was “ok”, that he enjoyed the free utilities, and that he was grateful for the friends he met through dorm living. However, he wishes that dorm life was more interactive and that he got to know his neighbors. 

“There are study nights and events that the PACs and RAs put on, but nobody goes to them… The dorms felt dead,” he said.

Theo also struggled with an ant problem in his closet. Despite keeping their room clean and free of food, the issue persisted for his entire stay. All of this would have been tolerable, if not for the mandatory meal plan.

Theo mostly cooked at home, but he needed to spend the money somehow so it didn’t go to waste. Main dining wasn’t yet open so the options at the time were very limited.  Worse yet, the already lackluster selection of burgers, pizza, salad, and burrito bowls declined in quality over time.

Theo felt pressured to buy burger after mediocre burger just to get his money’s worth–an experience he just couldn’t stomach.

For Theo, the mandatory meal plans were the final straw. 

The pricing for the 2023-24 academic year in a Village 3 single suite went up to $9,025 whereas in 2022-23 it was at $8,678 and the lowest meal plan for 2023-24 is $3,600 per academic year while in the year 2022-23 was $1,400. There was a $2,547 increase to live in the dorms if you had the same setup as Luke.

Theo says that if finances are a concern, students should look around before jumping straight into living in the dorms.

A third student, who wishes to remain anonymous, described his problems with the dorms.

This student, who we’ll call Taylor, said, “It was ok at best, at worst it was horrible. They gave me everything I needed to live, which was bare minimum, and everything kept breaking”. 

Taylor says that they also had a lot of roaches in their dorm and also had an ant infestation during the spring semester because of their neighbors. Their neighbor reportedly left a peanut butter sandwich in his room, which caused the ants to crawl all the way up to the second floor, invading Taylor’s room as well. 

“One time I woke up and I went to the kitchen and found a cup with a family of roaches, a big one, a small big one, a smaller big one, and a tiny one… it was disgusting,” Taylor said. 

Taylor, like Luke, also complained about the beds in housing saying that “it was like sleeping on slabs of concrete.”

Taylor said they paid around 10k to sleep in a bunk bed and share a room with a stranger, whereas in their new place, they have their own room, their own closet, and normal bed all to themself.

Taylor even has their own washer and dryer in the unit. 

“I’m literally paying 7.3k for that and it’s worth it,” they said. 

Taylor also mentions the pricing of the dorms compared to the current place they live. They mention that at the dorms you pay for 8 months out of the year while at their new place, it’s less for 12 months out of the year. 

Unlike the dorms, you can also bring pets! While there is a fee, Taylor prefers their current living situation, because the only pets allowed in the dorms are emotional support animals or service dogs–both of which have a complicated and difficult approval process.

Taylor says, “The dorms should be your last resort.”

Living in the dorms was definitely a mixed bag. There were many rumors, but after experiencing it for myself and investigating other students’ experience, the truth became clear.  I think the sad part is that many of the problems weren’t made up.

The current state of the dorms has many students hoping for improvement, but it remains to be seen if the school will address any of these issues.  As of right now, the university has put forth no plans to improve the living conditions or pricing of their meal plans and housing.

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Students Criticize the State of CSU Stanislaus’ Dorms