The Suites: A semester in review

After living in the newest residence hall on campus for a semester, my feelings are mixed

More stories from Caleb Doyle

The Tator
April 14, 2021

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The Suites has room for 432 students and has two different room options: single or double rooms

The Suites is the newest residence hall on campus, and it bridges the gap between traditional and apartment style housing.

The building was opened up for students this fall and after living here for a semester, I have very mixed feelings.

The fact that the building is brand new is very appealing. Everything is clean and up to date. But not everything is finished, and the building seems to be rushed in its completion.

Upon first seeing my room in early September, I saw paint and drywall dust on my floor. TVs were promised to be around the building in each kitchen area and at every elevator entrance; however, only one has been installed. 

Cookware sets were not included with the kitchens, unfinished plywood was on the walls and the front desk and study rooms lacked tables until October. Sadly, the list goes on.

Now, I understand that I live in a brand new building and it will take some time to iron out the kinks before it’s completely up and running. But the university promised a finished building with all the modern bells and whistles for this academic year, and that promise has not been fulfilled.

At least I know that by next year, everything should be finished and no one will have to deal with an incomplete building anymore. My main fear for the future of The Suites lies in its quality.

I can see many areas where corners were cut during construction to save money. Everything looks super nice on the outside, but a closer look tells a different story.

The most worrisome issue for residents is the paint on the walls. Many students hang things on their walls with command hooks, as UW-Eau Claire recommends those over nails or push pins. 

However, the proper removal of command strips actually tears paint off the wall. My roommates saw this when, one day, they wanted to remove one hook immediately after placing it on the wall.

The paint is so cheap that even an adhesive meant to protect paint when removed takes it off.

Now residents who have stripped paint off their wall are being charged $25-$50 depending on the severity of the damage. Command strips are no longer recommended on drywall walls.

By using cheap paint and originally telling students they can apply command strips to their walls, the university has easily made hundreds of dollars off of students trying to put a poster up.

The issues do not end there either. The faucets look and feel very cheap. Each suite has two sinks with the same type of faucet. Both of our faucet handles are already extremely loose with no way to tighten them. 

A work request to fix them could be sent out, but there’s no telling if we will get charged or not. 

Just last week I noticed our counter has cracks along where it is connected to the wall, and any weight pushed on it will cause them to be seen. 

My roommates and I have taken very good care of our suite overall since we want to keep it nice, but things are still breaking with normal usage.  

There is a lot to complain about in The Suites, but I’ve already reserved my room there for the next academic year. Even with all of its issues, The Suites is still by far the nicest residence hall on campus.

The room’s overall design is phenomenal. The ceilings are very tall, to the point where I can stand on my bed when it’s fully lofted. The furniture is minimalistic, but useful, and I share a bathroom with only three other people. 

I personally want to live on campus as long as I can, since everything I need is here. The Crest Center’s gym and Hilltop Cafe are close by and my classes are only a short walk from my room. 

The central location of The Suites makes reaching the main things I need very convenient. 

At the end of the day, no college housing option is perfect. Every student just needs to find what works best for them. If The Suites works best for you, even with its issues, I think you will enjoy your time there.

Doyle can be reached at [email protected]