Brooke Coupal ‘17
OUR VIEW: Students concerns about new dorms are being addressed
This past week President Christopher Hopey sat down with the editors of The Beacon to discuss plans for the new residence halls. He addressed many of the issues that students were concerned about including Wi-Fi, parking, and the fact that only half the hall is being built.
A main concern among students with adding more beds is that more people will be on the Wi-Fi. With the problems that are already occurring with this, students do not want even slower Wi- Fi as a result of more students coming onto campus. Hopey said the amount of students who are on Wi-Fi does not affect the speed of the Internet. What does slow down the Internet is the number of devices that each student has brought onto campus, which has doubled over the last two years. The president plans on addressing this problem over winter break by improving creating more hotspots on campus, which should overall improve the Wi-Fi.
Students are also uneasy about what parking will be like with more students on campus. Hopey assured The Beacon that there is no parking problem at Merrimack College. After the lottery was completed this year for spots, starting with seniors, then going to juniors, and finally ending at sophomores, there are still parking spots open on campus. Offices have also been moved across the street, so many faculty members now park there instead of on campus. Lastly, the president expressed that the college intends to expand the parking lot on Elm Street. With all of this in effect, parking should not be an issue for the next academic year.
Many students are wondering why only half the new residence halls are being built, and how this will affect housing situations. Austin field is located halfway in North Andover, with the other half in Andover. As of right now only North Andover has approved building of the halls, while Andover has yet to do so. With only half of it being built, there will only be 180 new beds at the start of the school year instead of the 350 beds that would have been put in within the whole hall. Hopey said that this would not be a problem since the college has decided to only accept an additional 180 students for the next academic year, as opposed to the whole 350.
The Beacon would like to commend President Hopey for addressing student concerns with the new residence halls. We hope that all his solutions are successful and are followed through. As a group, The Beacon recommends the college keep students updated with any plans regarding the new residence halls.