Life’s Not a Beach for Colgate Summer Residents

Upon returning to Colgate earlier this week, many might have noticed the mass of students already on campus preparing for the start of the new semester. As the years pass, Colgate is seeing an increase in both the number of students staying over the summer and those arriving early for various activities. This trend, however, is putting a pressure on Buildings and Grounds (B&G) to have all residences cleaned and ready to accommodate everyone. Over the summer, this resulted in moving students out of their housing before the end of their contracted date with little warning or assistance.

“We offer housing through the entire summer, but what we’re able to do depends on what the summer schedule looks like,” Director of Residential Life Jennifer Adams said. “We follow the lead of Buildings and Grounds on where students can live and for how long because they have to clean around each of the summer programs.”

Students who stay for the warmer months eventually are relocated from their spring assignments to the University’s houses on Broad Street. This year’s contract called for them to move back up the hill on August 11th. However, students received an e-mail from former Assistant Director of Residential Life Dan Roberts on August 4th that asked them to move back up the hill within three days. Students found themselves kicked out of their summer assignments earlier than expected and with little means of moving their belongings up the hill in the timeline mandated by ResLife.

“It was pretty irritating and inconvenient for me, as I was working in an office not affiliated with Colgate for the summer,” junior Lindsay Ward said. “All in all, it ended up working out fine but not without significant inconvenience that could have been avoided by a slightly earlier notification process.”

The Office of Residential Life was rumored to have known about the early move, which they reserve the right to require, but had simply failed to give students appropriate notice. Adams asserted, however, that the office had been trying to find a way to avoid the move altogether.

“We could’ve told students probably a little bit early but we kept hoping that we would be able to work something out and they wouldn’t have to move twice,” Adams said. “We really worked hard with B&G to try and make it work [but the] time frame that they had was just not manageable.”

Summer camps at Colgate end during early-August, and students begin to arrive for sports and other programs shortly thereafter. Adams explained that the brief period of time between camps ending and the nearly 1,200 students arriving early this year forced B&G to call for an early end to summer housing.

Traditionally, mostly international students remain on campus over the summer, but a rise in research opportunities by professors and local jobs have increased Colgate’s summer resident population. Adams predicts that this trend will continue to present similar problems in years to come.

Nevertheless, steps have been taken to defuse such problems. This is the first year that students did not have to move twice at the beginning of the summer, first to Stillman Hall and then to Broad Street. Residential Life is planning even more assistance with respect to moving belongings.

“I think we can provide [vans] for students who do not have an ability to [move] themselves,” Adams said, adding that the vans would be by request only.

“It’s a matter of all of [our] getting together and figuring it out,” Dead Adams said, revealing that the Residential Life staff has begun to meet in order to better analyze the situation and plan for future summers so students will not be faced with challenges of moving so unexpectedly.