The disruption in living arrangements that has been part of students’ lives this semester is continuing: Students living in Falk Crest have been moved to Boyer Hall due to structural problems in Falk Crest.
The feels like deja-vu all over again to many students who had been living in Boyer earlier in the semester before they were moved to Falk Crest due to low enrollment.
According to Ann Brown, Dean of Women, an engineer inspected Falk Crest recently and verified that the first floors of Falk Crest A and B buildings have structural damage and deterioration. University officials were advised to move the students living on these floors immediately to ensure their safety, Ms. Brown said. All students, male and female, who were living on these floors were moved to Boyer Hall, which was originally an all male dorm and has communal bathrooms.
Asked about this disruptive back and forth, Ms. Brown explained, “We didn’t know about the structural damage to the buildings earlier in the semester, otherwise we would not have placed students on the first floor.”
When Boyer was shut down earlier this semester, it was the fourth dorm that St. Augustine’s had shut down in the past year and half, joining Lynch, Baker and Atkinson. School officials attribute the closings to safety issues and declining enrollment.
The affected students were not happy, especially with the end of the semester being so close. Jaelen Daniels, a sophomore psychology major, lived in Boyer Hall in the beginning of the year, and then he was moved to Falk Crest earlier this year, and now finds himself back in Boyer.
“I wish we didn’t have to move,” Daniels said. “I understand the reason, but I don’t like it. I think it was careless when we are about to leave in about a week.”
Daniels is further disappointed because Falk Crest offers more privacy and better amenities. “I thought moving from Boyer to Falk Crest was better because I had my own bathroom,” he said. “Now I’m back in Boyer and I wish the bathrooms looked better. I wish Boyer was better.”
Porsha Cox, a junior visual arts major, also had to move from Falk Crest to Boyer. She had never lived in Boyer before and is not pleased. “I feel like me moving to Boyer is a very unpleasant and drastic change for me,” Cox said. “It’s not comfortable for me. I feel like I should be able to live in the comfort of my own room and have access to my own bathroom like I’ve had in the past couple years.”
Administrators sympathize with the students but said the action was unavoidable. “I know they don’t like moving near the end of the semester,” said Dr. Ronald Brown, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. “I don’t blame them.”
Ms. Brown said most students didn’t want to move. “It was challenging for them and their main concern was the community bathrooms,” she said. “Some students said they did not mind moving because they were fearful of the floor caving in.”
Ms. Brown added male and female students are on separate floors and that locks have been installed on the bathroom doors on floors where the girls stay. Each female student will have a key to the bathroom that corresponds with their floor, she explained.
Along with the locks, Dr. Brown said there will be 24-hour surveillance cameras installed within the building, “We have taken precautions to ensure the safety of our students,” Ms. Brown added. “Boyer Hall will probably be the most secure building on campus after all the locks and cameras are fully installed.”
Some students wondered whether they will receive a refund for having to move from Falk Crest to Boyer Hall, where the residential fees are lower. Both Ms. Brown and Dr. Brown stated that students who paid extra funds to stay in Falk Crest but had to move to Boyer will have their accounts prorated and their bill will be adjusted accordingly.
Along with the reconstruction of the first floors of Falk Crest Buildings A and B, Dr. Brown has pointed out that Weston Hall’s elevator is also in need of repair. Saint Augustine’s University is doing its best to complete these tasks as soon as possible, he said.
— Cianna Fisher