We don’t want your programmed dorms

Staff Editorial

While new construction on campus is making our school more aesthetically pleasing, these new buildings designed around programmed housing carry a whole new set of issues.

Over the summer, new buildings popped up on campus. One of them was the Central Campus Residence Hall, a dorm built for first-years who choose to live in the Wellness Environment.

The building marks a step in a new direction for UVM: more beds for WE and more beds for programmed housing.

Without sourcing input on what the general student population wants and needs in their living environments, administration is interpreting WE’s high demand as a call for more programmed housing.

In reality, students often choose programmed housing simply to get into a newer, nicer hall.

Though we commend the administration for implementing a university-wide wellness initiative, they simply outsized the interest and neglected to address general student needs.

It’s a disservice to the incoming class. Required programmed housing forces unnecessary training wheels on first-year students. It obstructs the main objective of achieving the well-rounded college experience.

The University fundamentally prevents students from bursting their social bubbles: first-years, whether they live in WE or Fiber Arts, spend time with more people similar to them.

They’ll be less likely to find new passions and form relationships with people unlike them.

WE and other programmed housing was originally designed to offer students a built in sub-community within UVM to ensure social stability in the chaos of the first-year experience. Making these programs required dismantles their original point.

They want to “change the type of person who comes to UVM.” Realistically this will change the UVM student– but not for the better.

One key objective of college is to “find yourself.” Meet new people, take odd classes, discover your passions. We call on the administration to answer this question: How can you boil down thousands of unique individuals into a few common interest groups and expect them to grow and change into their best self?