Students experience good, bad, ugly of dorm living

Imagine coming back to your college dorm room to see all of your belongings are ruined due to a flood. Imagine getting sick and not knowing it was due to a mold infestation in your dorm building. These are two examples provided by students about current living conditions at Grambling State University. 


Campus living conditions across GSU vary. According to students, the apartment style buildings on campus seemingly have fewer issues compared to other dorms. 


Many of the apartment style dorms are located near the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center. Students refer to dorms on that portion of campus as the “suburbs”.  According to sophomore Justin Richard from Alexandria, Louisiana, the campus living conditions are “OK in the suburbs.” He resides in Harriet Tubman dorm.  


“Obviously there are some issues on this side like bad Wi-Fi, not enough laundry space, and hallway/building overall cleanliness is poor,” Richard said. “However, from what I’ve heard, other residential halls — especially in the ‘hood’ —  have worse issues. 


“Compared to many other colleges, our dorms are pretty nice,” Richard said. 


President Rick Gallot said that dorm renovations are on this list of campus improvements. 


“Due to our increase in student enrollment, we are looking at potentially building more dorms.” 


He noted that many students have questioned if Drew will be renovated. “Due to a construction issue these dorms will remain closed. The university spent $5 million to build them. The renovation cost would be $6 million,” Gallot said.  


During the week of Aug. 27, 2018, Knott Hall’s first floor flooded. Many of the students residing there were encouraged to relocate to another available dorm. According to freshman Christiana Essien, the move was “unexpected and difficult” for herself. 


“Knott flooded and a lot of my belongings got wet or just overall ruined. My mirror broke too. I recall entering my room and looking for the light switch. I suddenly slipped, fell down and my hand started hurting. Once I turned on the light I saw all the water. I had to go to the hospital,” Essien said.


Last semester Essien lived in three different dorm rooms, including Knott, Wheatley and Truth Hall. “I moved a lot in one semester. When I applied to Grambling last year, I selected Truth Hall as the dorm I wanted to stay in. Unfortunately, Truth Hall is the most popular freshman dorm on campus so it was full. 


“I moved to Wheatley Hall following the flooding incident,” Essien said. “I was determined to move to Truth. I spoke with residential life, and by homecoming there was a room opening.” 


Xavier Miller is a freshman accounting major from Chicago, Illinois. He said the only issue he has with campus living in Holland dorms is the lack of access to the dorm classrooms.


“I love living in Holland. I’m having the time of my life. My RA’s are friendly and the hallways aren’t rowdy. 


“The only thing that could be improved is the access to the classrooms in Holland. Those rooms could be utilized more,” Miller said. 


Faith Daniels is a freshman from Atlanta, Georgia. Daniels lives in Hunter, a traditional style dorm. A few weeks ago some girls living in these dorms got sick and a mold infestation was blamed. “I personally never got sick, but I know other girls living here did. 


“I picked this dorm because it was the cheapest option,” Daniels said. “Living in these dorms has been a very humbling experience. It isn’t the cutest place to live, but you make do.” 


Gallot said that a renovation for Hunter/Robinson is on the list of campus renovations. “In the future we hope to demolish Drew Complex. We are interested in renovating the Hunter/Robinson dorms in the future,” Gallot said.