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The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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Published April 13, 2024

All dorms not created equal

Some dorms on campus require upgrades for health and accessibility.

Several first-year University of Minnesota students woke up to a new life form growing in their dorm rooms this fall: an outbreak of mold in Frontier Hall.

The Minnesota Daily reported Oct. 7 that 16 rooms were found with mold in the freshman dorm, forcing students in half of them to temporarily relocate.

Though freshmen may anticipate the transition to college life to be something of a struggle at first, most wouldn’t predict they’d have to pick up their stuff and move within the first few months of school.

Contrast this experience with that of students lucky enough to be living in the new 17th Avenue residence hall this year, which boasts its own restaurant and greek life student space for the Theta Chi fraternity and Chi Omega sorority.

17th Avenue also has air conditioning and is accessible to students with disabilities, which is more than can be said for older dorms on campus, like Pioneer Hall in the Superblock. Though it looks inviting enough from the outside, rooms in Pioneer Hall are difficult to get to given its labyrinth-like hallways; rooms are not carpeted, and there are no elevators or air conditioning, making already crowded move-in and move-out days that much more uncomfortable. Mouse infestation has also been an issue in Pioneer.

While living in 17th Avenue and Middlebrook halls is slightly more expensive, a couple hundred dollars does little to make up for the vast difference in quality.

The University should promote greater amenity equality among its sponsored student living spaces; students in one dorm should not have to live with mold, mice and impractical hallway design while many of the University’s greek students in another dorm have access to air conditioning, elevators and made-to-order food.

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