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Administration promises further improvements to solve issues in residential communities

Mold in the dorms, a lack of air conditioning, and a desire for more space are just a few of the complaints students have about Ohio Wesleyan University’s residential living.

The residential side of campus has received many costly improvements and renovations in the past decade, but there is still a lot of work to be done to further benefit students’ Ohio Wesleyan experience. 

The remaining issues can be problematic for students as the university requires students to remain living on campus for all four years of their schooling. 

Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Engagement and Success, Dwayne Todd, explained how improving residential facilities has been a top priority for the university because of this requirement. 

“We have invested well over $60 million in improving our residential facilities over the past ten years. We still have a lot of work to do in the buildings that have not been a part of the renovations thus far, so we know we are not done,” said Todd. 

Newly renovated buildings such as the senior apartments and Smith Hall leave students living in them satisfied, however, this creates a sort of disparity between students. Those who are left to live in buildings that aren’t quite as well maintained such as Welch Hall and Hayes Hall find the differences a little unfair. 

These two buildings are both not air-conditioned while the rest are. Sophomore Austin Kling, a resident of Welch Hall, explains how the lack of air conditioning, although livable, is not ideal for students living there. 

“The buildings lack air conditioning which can be very troublesome during the warmer months, especially for those living on higher floors,” said Kling. 

Due to the aging of these buildings, they have not received a lot of the attention that they need leaving more issues that the facilities teams need to respond to. 

Brian Emerick, director of Residential Life, explained that all students should have a building they want to live in. Because of this, the university is in the planning stages of determining methods for future improvements. 

“We are in the process of strategic planning to lay out a plan to know what we need to fundraise for. Our focuses are Hayes and Welch as well as some of the fraternities,” said Emerick. 

Todd also shared a little about what is being done to improve residential living at Ohio Wesleyan. 

“We have been working with a housing consulting firm to help us envision the next phase of residential improvements that are needed.  That plan focuses on buildings that remain in need of renovation, and the need for additional facilities and amenities to support the residential experience. Those kinds of changes take time and a lot of money to accomplish, but we are working on a plan to address those needs,” said Todd. 

Nothing is set in stone just yet, but students can be looking forward to many new and exciting things to come for the improvement of residential living!

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