STOP SUNY ONEONTA CONSOLIDATION
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On January 26th, 2018, assistant director of SUNY Oneonta's Residential Community Life Mike Farmer sent out a mass e-mail to students living on campus that anyone who does not have a roommate has three options:
- Be assigned a new roommate.
- Be forced to move out of your dorm into another room who needs a roommate.
- Pay the additional $1490 (on top of the living on campus fee you already paid) to buy out your room as an independent living space.
These three options will be enforced despite if you are a "Safe Space" (LGBT Protected) student, your roommate dropped out of the college, your roommate moved out without your knowledge, or your roommate was kicked out of school due to breaking codes of conduct. No matter what the reason for why you currently don't have a roommate, you will now be taken advantage of. Anyone who does not buy out the room, will immediately become ripe for the picking for options 1 and 2. Being forced out of your room goes by credits, meaning you could be a senior and still be forced to move from the room you once chose and settled into.
No one is arguing that being assigned a new roommate is a terrible thing when the school accepted too many freshmen and caused 400+ freshmen to be put into forced-triples (three people in a two person room). As much as the decent human being is happy to allow someone in such a situation into their room, ResLife does not give you the option to get to know any of those possible roommates, nor let's you say no to one. They plan to smoke in your room? Who cares. They could be racist? Who cares. They enjoy blasting music all night? Who cares. Your personal preference does not matter.
Thankfully, in the week of time they are giving us to make a decision (and pull nearly $1500 out of our very rich wallets), we can also choose someone you know to move into your room. This means you can have your friend move in, then cause someone else to have less than a week to make a decision. Or, you could have someone you know who also does not have a roommate, meaning someone has to uproot all their things to another room, floor, or dorm completely. Wait, sorry, they like to call them "residence halls" because dorm is too impersonal.
Have a situation and contact the staff at ResLife? You get an attitude and talked down to.
My roommate moved out a week before we came back and three days later, I was assigned a new roommate. The only reason I found out, was because the girl contacted me. ResLife NEVER did. Once contacting Mike Farmer, I told him I was hoping a friend could move in and that they gave me no warning. He then ignored everything I said and said "roommate requests need to be done before winter break." Apparently he missed the fact that no one knew my roommate was going to move out, including her. Then, I mentioned that I have an assistance animal (a dog) and that some people were allergic or afraid, was he not going to tell them? And he completely ignored that too. According to Mr. Farmer's actions, people with disabilities or special needs are unimportant to his paycheck.
Eventually, my new roommate moved to be closer to other transfers and I am now facing the reality of either paying $1500, being assigned someone I don't know, or being forcibly removed from the dorm they advertise to be "like home."
When I took a tour of SUNY Oneonta and we saw beautiful freshman dorms, we were not told about the moldy, run-down upperclassmen dorms, or the fact that even as a freshman, you might be forcibly put in a two person bedroom with two other people, no bigger than 12ft x 12ft, with three beds, two desks, two closets, and a little wardrobe. Oh, and trust me, it barely all fits. The tours also did not mention that any of the situations our roommate went through that caused them to move out meant that we would be completely inconvenienced and/or charged an additional $1490 or be FORCED to lug all your belongings across campus in 20 degree Oneonta weather and icy pathways. Because no, they do not offer you any service that assists you to move. It's your problem.
I moved into a building no more than 100 yards away last year around this time, it took 8 people several trips each to move everything I had brought - which is not a lot - into my "new home" just to get away from a terrible roommate and help my friend not have to pay the single room fee.
The SUNY Oneonta website advertises living on their campus as, "It’s easy to find your home away from home at SUNY Oneonta. Living on campus is comfortable, convenient and fun..."
If SUNY Oneonta's Residential Community Life does not care about their students' privacy, comfort, or convenience, then we will make it a point to share our stories of ResLife's mistreatment of students. We will go to social media, and anywhere we have to, to make sure that any prospective students looking into SUNY Oneonta know that behind the flashy updated freshman dorms is a department that could not care less about their students.
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Sign the petition now to show you stand with your Red Dragons!
Update: According to the Ford Hall RD:
- There's nine girls without roommates in our building and one guy, but the guy doesn't have to find a roommate (from anywhere on campus) because he "made connections in the building" and doesn't have to pay or move either - but apparently being a night host and in hall gov weren't enough "connections" for me.
- The reason for consolidation is because we "get double the furniture" but had no response to why they don't just REMOVE the furniture.
- There are only 8 forced triples left on campus and all 8 agreed to staying together, which means this is about money and not about helping people in shitty situations.
**Ford Hall Staff is also consistently trying to keep this petition from spreading. Voice your right to be heard and demand better treatment.**
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