Rollins now stratified by bathroom caste system

March 29, 2018 Opinion

My fellow students, with on-campus housing selection quickly approaching, it is time to relax and let the bathrooms decide your fate. The new tier pricing system for on-campus housing is based on the privacy of bathrooms and the number of occupants.

Single rooms with private-bathrooms cost the most, followed by singles with semi-private-bathrooms, followed by singles with community bathrooms. After that, the same bathroom tier applies to the cost of double rooms. Triples come only with community bathrooms. There are also slight variations for the Sutton apartments.

Un-American as it is, this means that not all singles, doubles, or triples are created equal. Not anymore.

Soon to be gone are the days where your grades win you anything in housing. Whether you have a 4.0 or a 2.0 GPA this semester, a double room with a private bathroom will still cost more than the other doubles.

In other words, even if you should be the very first student granted access to housing selection, who is to say that you can afford the housing you wish to select?

Far be it from me to suggest that better grades should come with any sort of benefit. Students should not need a carrot to strive for good grades; after all, we are in college for exactly that purpose. Yet, the catch is that we want good grades for a practical purpose, not because grades have any value in themselves.

Thanks to the change in housing prices, we are now being shown that better grades will not grant us any more benefits than worse grades. For an institution that aims to make us all responsible leaders and global citizens, Rollins is not doing much to reward its most responsible.

This new housing plan also does not seem to consider the college’s current layout. As it stands, most of the rooms in Strong Hall contain private or semi-private bathrooms. These are within the higher tiers of pricing, which means that a lot of students with similar socioeconomic backgrounds will be congregated in certain residence halls like Strong and Holt.

This will only serve to create an unrealistic image of Rollins for some students since they will be far more exposed to people of one class than others. In this way, students will be deprived of certain diverse experiences.

Part of being a global citizen is scope. We are meant to understand how vastly different the experiences of others can be to ours, both within and outside the United States. How can we understand the perspectives of others if we only meet people whose bank accounts look like ours?

Of course, we are supposed to listen and share in class discussions. Ideally, that is where we would primarily hear the stories of others and understand the real scope of things. That is part of attending a small liberal college.

Yet, students spend a significant chunk of their time in their dorm rooms, surrounded by their neighbors who will now be somewhat less likely to come from a different economic background.

However, believe it or not, this is not entirely the college’s fault. Rollins actually does make a vested effort to listen to us students and understand our wants. Dining, parking, and housing top the list of concerns for Rollins because those are the things we talk about.

As a result, Rollins has tiered housing according to bathrooms because we—yes, we, the students—expend valuable oxygen on mourning our community bathrooms. We take every opportunity to condemn sharing bathrooms with others, and we feel validated with any tiny stain we find in the showers and stalls.

It then stands to reason that Rollins did its best to take this oh-so-important concern into consideration. This is the result.

Our fates are decided by the bathrooms in part because the college is offering less meritocracy and in part because we are squeamish.

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