We demand a better environment for residents in Chapultepec Hall
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As a worried resident of Chapultepec Hall, and a current student at San Diego State University, I feel it is my duty to address dilemmas regarding campus housing. Chapultepec Hall has many faults, but the most prominent complications are overpopulation, broken fire alarms, lack of space/quality of living areas, water shortages, elevator complications, distance from campus, and parking structures. All of these setbacks contribute to the main issues with Chapultepec Hall: cost of living and safety.
There are about 830 students currently living in Chapultepec. While crowded living spaces are common in college dorms, Chapultepec is extremely overpopulated compared to other dorms on campus. Tenochca has about 51 students to a floor, and Chapultepec holds about 75.5 students to a floor. While Chapultepec has mostly triples, and Tenochca has mostly doubles, it still presents an issue that there are simply too many people on a floor, which causes safety hazards. Because there are an excessive amount of residents in narrow spaces, it contributes to larger issues. The fire alarms are constantly going off, and have already gone off four times (that I am aware of, it could be more) in this first month of school. Whether they are broken, or overpopulation plays a factor in this, it takes students away from sleeping and studying, and can make them late to class. On the first day of school, the fire alarm went off at 8:28 am, and almost made me late for class. To ensure that I was not late, I ran back into my room, grabbed my backpack, then proceeded to evacuate so that I could make it to class on time, Had this been a real fire and not a false alarm, I would have put myself in danger, possibly costing my life. Overpopulation and fire alarm interruptions all contribute to a lower academic performance level, as they are obstacles for our education.
When I visit my peers in South Campus Plaza, I notice that their triples are twice the size as my triple in Chapultepec. I am paying the same exact price as them, but they have a nicer building, twice as much space, and a bathroom to each room. It is absolutely ridiculous to charge the same price for residents in triples of both buildings, but give certain residents better living conditions. Based off the differences in living conditions, Chapultepec residents should be charged less for housing, or South Campus Plaza and Zura residents should be charged more; however, they should absolutely not be charged the same, which is the current situation. The institution is taking advantage of freshmen by forcing those out of the area to live on campus (paying a substantial amount more than off campus housing), and purchase a meal plan (where Aztec Markets gouge prices, as some items have a 700% increase. For example, a Lean Cuisine frozen dinner at a grocery store is one dollar, while at the Aztec market it is seven dollars), on top of the cost of tuition, books, and other necessities. The water shut off in Chapultepec on September 27th, causing my floor mates and myself to purchase ridiculously expensive water bottles from the Aztec market. This is irrational as it costs us to lose more money, when we already paid for housing, which includes access to water on our floor. The residents of Chapultepec hall should not be forced to pay for issues that are out of our control.
The final issues of Chapultepec hall contribute the most to the lack of safety for residents. Mold was discovered in room 705 and the residents of that dorm were forced to live in another room, after they had already been exposed to the toxic environment. Room 617 found black mold in their air vents, and maintenance has yet to come and fix it as they claimed they were short staffed. In addition, Chapultepec hall is exceptionally far from campus, forcing students to walk long distances, which can become extremely unsafe, especially at night. We are already aware of the two students who were robbed at gunpoint on campus, and the young girl who was hit, and killed by a car during a football game. In additions to these issues, my friend’s car was broken into a couple weeks ago (while she parked in parking lot 3), and I’m sure there are many other issues that have gone unreported, as it is easy for anyone to simply wander onto SDSU campus, putting students in danger. The first week of school, I called the safety escort at around 1 am because I knew that walking alone from Montezuma Road to Chapultepec Hall was treacherous; however, the line was busy. Although I called back multiple times, my call did not go through, and I was forced to walk back in the dark over 1.5 miles, putting myself in harms way. Even students who have cars are in danger, as they are forced to walk long distances to the parking structures, as parking lot 9, the closest one to Chapultepec hall, is now closed due to construction. Myself, along with the other residents in Chapultepec hall are outraged at the lack of safety provided by the school, and the cost of our dorms in comparison to other on campus living structures (when living conditions are taken into account). By signing this petition, you agree that as a Chapultepec Hall resident, or parent of a resident, you too are concerned for the safety and living conditions of all members living in the building.
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