By Brittney Payette
The housing situation at Cameron has recently gotten a significant amount of interest after a housing article I wrote came out; which was titled “Disaster in the Dorms.”
After the article was released, it was read on campus and online and shared on social media. Numerous individuals, past and present, who have been or currently are living on campus came forward with their own experiences in the dorms. I had so many people thank me for coming forward and speaking up about the issues in the dorms. It was an amazing feeling to see how advocating for my fellow residents helped the discourse about the living situation on campus gain momentum.
Now the questions people are asking include: what has changed, and what is Cameron doing to maintain these positive changes in order to improve living conditions?
After the article was published, I was blown away by the amount of support I received from students, faculty, and staff at Cameron. The initial responses included a lot of sharing the article with other people, past and current residents commenting their negative experiences living in the dorms, and people demanding change.
On March 8, Cameron housing sent people to the dorms to fix the plumbing issues. Seeing the workers fixing the plumbing made me inexplicably happy. The cleaning crew also did a deep clean in the bathrooms after the plumbing was worked on. Change was finally happening.
The Student Government Association (SGA) at Cameron were quick to offer their support to the residents living on campus. At 7 p.m. on March 27 in the Wichita Room SGA hosted an open forum on housing concerns.
Administrators and staff such as Vice President and Dean of Students for Enrollment Management & Student Success Jerrett Phillips, Director of Campus Life and SGA advisor Leslie Cothren, Faculty in Residence Christopher Sauer, Housing Coordinator Christina Willoughby, etc.
There were numerous residents who showed up to the housing forum eager to make their voices heard. Some of the complaints were that there was mold growing on the bottom of some of the shower curtains, the laundry rooms were not being adequately cleaned, and paper towels were taken away and have not been returned to the bathrooms.
“We want to have open communication,” Phillips said. “We want to have future forums like this, but, at the same time, you are welcome to email any of our direct offices.”
The Faculty Senate also adopted a unanimous resolution to support the residents on campus.
“The Cameron University Faculty Senate is appalled by the conditions described in the March 6, 2023, Collegian article entitled, ‘Disaster in the Dorms.’ Residential life students have the full support of Faculty Senate in their call to have the bathroom problems resolved in a timely and transparent manner.”
One of the attendees was dorm resident and Strategic Communications major Tawny Vanover, who said she was impressed with the student turnout at the forum.
“The housing forum was a great opportunity for students to express their concerns directly to faculty representatives without any barriers,” Vanover said. “I would love to see this era of undivided attention to our standards regarding students’ health and wellbeing continue unconditionally here at Cameron.”
Vanover said she has noticed recent changes in the dorms.
“The cleanliness of our dorm restrooms have improved since the meeting just a few days ago,” Vanover said. “The shower curtains have been replaced, and the previous concern for uncleanliness in the showers has been reduced significantly. I have also noticed housing staff around all areas on North and South Shepler inspecting the different areas.”
Vanover also said she hopes the plumbing issues will be fixed and residents will get their paper towels back in the bathrooms. She also said she was glad this forum was held.
“I am grateful for our Student Government Association for giving students this opportunity to voice their concerns so that change may be facilitated,” Vanover said.
For more information contact housing at email@example.com.