Lack of AC, Privacy in Dorms Among Top Concerns for DelVal Students

By Li Williams / Full360 Staff Writer

On a hot August morning, students and parents darted from their cars to dorms, lugging bins, appliances and other belongings. After the exhausting move-in day, some families wanted to relax and cool down. But there was no escape from the heat. 

“There’s only air conditioning in South and Centennial Halls and you must request it if you live anywhere else. If you can get proof that you need a/c they will give you one,” Media and Communication major Emma Monnismith said.

Work Hall at Delaware Valley University / Photo by Li Williams

The Freshmen dorms including Work, Samuel, Berkowitz, and Goldman don’t have air conditioning, and students who want it must have medical evidence that proves that they need it.

While Delaware Valley University officials say improvements are on the way, few details were provided. In a written response to The Full360 reporter’s questions, Jeff Brown, Director of Facilities Management, and April Vari, Vice President for Campus Life stated that “The University’s strategic plan identifies a number of opportunities for major renovations/enhancements and vetting those ideas and planning for any implementation is an ongoing process.”

“The most recent major renovation was last summer when the last of the old built-in furniture was removed from all rooms in Berkowitz and replaced with new, moveable furniture.”

Also, last summer, all lounges received new furniture, according to a statement from Brown and Vari.

For students, however, the lack of air conditioning is a rising concern, and they hope it will get addressed soon. At Delaware Valley University, students are required to live on campus for their first two years. In recent interviews, students shared their views on living on campus and the conditions of the dorm buildings. 

The University mission, as stated says: “The Department of Residence Life and Housing fosters a safe, inclusive, and unique residential experience that supports academic success and personal growth. Through the residential experience, students will discover individual identities, cultivate community, develop interpersonal skills and explore self-advocacy.”

Berkowitz Hall at Delaware Valley University / Photo from Delaware Valley University’s Website

There are many benefits to living on campus, and that is stated on the DelVal website. It lists many ways that it could boost the student experience while attending DelVal. While on paper, a lot of the benefits sound great, sometimes the reality is different.

“I would like to have more security. People can just come in and out of the dorms even if they don’t live there,” Small Animal Major, Melia Patterson said.

Notes have been added to the outside of the doors telling students not to leave them propped open, but this has not deterred them from doing so.

Patterson added, “The showers stalls are small and there is nowhere to hang your things. There is just a curtain, so it is limited privacy. There are times when the water would not heat.”

Of Delaware Valley University’s nine on-campus residence halls, one has had furniture replaced in the last year, according to Vari. 

Although students are seeing some improvements, students would still like to see the dorms renovated to be more modern. The conditions of most of the dorms are not dire, they say,  but things like air conditioning for all residence halls, new tiles, bigger showers, and more security are improvements students say they would like to see in the future.

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