Staff Editorial: Dorms at the Priory

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UW-Eau Claire will be offering a new housing option for students starting next fall. The Priory, formally a Catholic Monastery, which now hosts the Children’s Nature Academy will be renovated to house 22 students.

The new dorms are about a five-minute drive from the main campus and the university said this new addition will be a great opportunity for students who want something a little different than dorm life on upper and lower campus.

Most of the rooms in the dorm will be singles with a sink inside and four are suite-style rooms that have a connecting bathroom.

However, this plan does cause some worries. Who will be providing the students with food? Will there be a cafeteria put in or is there a place where students can make their own food such as a kitchen?

Students do have the option to opt-out of their meal plan if they wish, which means there might not be any type of cafeteria at the new dorms.

Another issue is the new dorm doesn’t really seem to be helping the 108 percent over-capacity rate, which has been an issue at the university for a while.

The number of students it will house is such a small amount it can’t possibly be helping the university with the capacity problem.

It seems like a lot of work to put into something which will only be benefiting a small portion of the student body.

It’s an interesting idea, but it would be like living in the hotel which sometimes was inconvenient and made it hard to form long lasting connections with other people.

The dorms both on upper and lower campus have a community about them and by living so far away, it might be hard to meet the variety of people you would in a “normal” dorm.

However, if the dynamics work out, the 22 people who will be chosen to live in the Priory might form a close connection as well.

The Priory is secluded from the energetic life the campus community has. For some, this can be both a negative and a positive. Some don’t want to live so close to the bar scene or have to be close to parties all the time. Not all students want to be in the middle of all the craziness college can provide.

Many people might take this opportunity to live in a place surrounded by nature and some students might live a quiet lifestyle when they are home and want to continue that throughout college.

But if the busy lifestyle is something you love, then living so far away might be a problem. Being away from a larger community might make some feel claustrophobic and lost and if you don’t have a car, it would make getting anywhere difficult.

The university is offering the students who live in the Priory a discounted “R” permit at $150 a year which will work both at the Priory and on campus.

But if you don’t have a car, a bus will be running to and from the Priory from 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., which may not be enough time for some students to get to and from classes. The new dorms might not work out for some, but there is no reason why the university should waste the space they paid for.

Why not use the rooms for something new and creative? Since this new opportunity is decided by a lottery of people who are genuinely interested in living out there, they know what they are signing up for.

The students who chose to live that far ourt already know that they will not be as much a part of the party culture that happens more with living closer to the main campus. If the university does a good job of letting students know exactly what is happening with the Priory then students will be educated enough to make their own decision and whether or not living at the Priory will fit with their daily lives.