Students face separation with new dorms


North Wind Staff

Wildcats are watching with curious eyes as the next addition comes to NMU’s campus: the new dorms. Through an online survey sent out this week, students had the opportunity to give their input on what the names of the halls should be.

With the opening date set for fall of 2017, the new dorms promise updated rooms, nicer study spaces and asbestos-free ceiling tiles.

But the new dorms also come with an expensive price tag at an estimated $500 or more per semester.

NMU requires students to live in residence halls during their first two years of enrollment, which means handing over almost $5,000 per semester to live in a double-occupancy room, the cheapest option. In addition, all incoming freshmen must be enrolled in “Platinum” or “Gold” meal plans, each costing over $2,000 per semester.

At the same time, increasing the cost to attend college—even in the form of attractive new dorms—just bleeds students further. It has become the norm to come out of college with a degree in one hand and bills in the other. Making those bills heavier to carry does not benefit those who hold them.

Students who are scraping together pennies are going to have a hard time handing over the extra $1,000 per year for shiny new dorms. For some families, that amount just isn’t attainable. These students will still have access to living in the older, less updated dorms.

Is the extra $1,000 worth premier housing? Is it right for NMU to separate us based on the level of housing we can comfortably afford?

College is a place where students come together in the same buildings and classrooms to learn. We all pay for the same professors and the same university to appear on our degrees. Instead, we face a possible separation based purely on our level of income or how much debt we want to carry.

While pursuing a degree at NMU, a price tag should not separate us. College is a place to learn about yourself and come together with others, not become separated. It’s important to remember that we are here to gain a quality education, and by doing so we all stand on the same level.