Category Archives: Housing

How to: decorate your dorm

By Olivia Krauth–

When I came to Louisville, I went all out when it came to my dorm; everything had to be perfect. With a recently implemented freshman live-on policy, many new students were, and still are, in the same boat. Navigating the world of dorm decor can be quite the process, so here are some tips to hopefully make it a bit less stressful.

Check out Pinterest. This should be slightly obvious. With thousands of real-life examples, color schemes and checklists, you’re bound to find something you like. It’s also a good place to store all of your ideas in one area.

Make everything match. I’m not an interior designer by any means, but I think it’s a general principle that a room looks better when the colors go together. Try having a main color and two accent colors.
Go on a crafting spree. Crafts are good for dorms for several reasons. They tend to be cheaper than store bought stuff, they’re more likely to match what you already have, and they are much more personal. Pinterest has tons of DIY ideas that you can try out.
Cooperate with your roommates. If you have roommates, try and contact them before the semester starts to see if you can decide on a color scheme (and who is bringing the mini-fridge, TV, microwave, etc.). It’ll help your room look more cohesive, because just because all of your stuff matches doesn’t mean that the room will look good if it clashes completely with your roommate’s stuff.
Don’t go overboard. Moving out and living on your own (kind of) is exciting, don’t get me wrong. But keep everything in check. Chances are, you won’t need multiple bulletin boards, a mini blender, and a 40-piece tupperware set. Remember you can buy stuff in Louisville if you need to (we have Targets here).
Pack in seasons if possible. While you’ve heard this about the clothes you’re bringing, you might not have heard it for decor. If you plan on celebrating holidays via decorations, there’s no need to bring your mini Christmas tree with you when you first move in in August. You’ll just have to store it until December, taking up valuable space.
Lists lists lists. Keep a list of all of your ideas, as well as the things you need to get. Without a list, you’re more likely to forget that you need or already bought something, causing you to go without or with way too much.
Leave room to grow. You’re going to make friends here. You’ll take pictures, go to events, make memories. You’ll want to remember them. If you immediately cover the walls when you move in, you won’t be able to show off your new memories. Definitely keep this in mind when deciding how much you want to decorate, and what exactly you want to decorate.
Don’t forget bathroom stuff. Miller, Threkheld, and Unitas residents: this doesn’t apply to you. To everyone else: you most likely have your own bathroom, or at least one you share. Don’t forget to bring a shower curtain, bath rug, etc. so your bathroom doesn’t totally look like a prison.
Think of the walls. Fun fact: dorms are tiny. Even if you’re lucky enough to be in a single room, they’re still pretty cramped. Try thinking up when looking at storage and decor options. Also remember that some dorm walls are cinder blocks, which command hooks have a hard time sticking to, making decorating difficult.
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The Grove faces worries, prepares for incoming residents

By Olivia Krauth–

The newest off-campus student housing option, The Grove, is preparing for it’s first year on campus – and with residents.

With nearly 600 students being forced out of on-campus housing due to the housing lottery last fall, demand for off-campus student housing is growing. The Grove noticed, responding with 252 rooms and the ability to house 654 students beginning in August.

“Based on our research of Louisville, we identified a significant shortfall in the availability of purpose-built student housing in the area,” said Hayley Cook, a media relations representative for Campus Crest, the student housing developer in charge of The Grove.

Students are taking advantage of the new option. “My roommate for next year didn’t get the on-campus housing lottery, so we had to live off campus,” said freshman Ann Wood. Wood says she picked The Grove based off of prices and availability.

Sophomore English major Emily Klein said she fell in love with The Grove after taking a tour. “I just felt like I could really call it home,” said Klein. “I also loved that it was brand new and that it was really eco-friendly.”

Although students are signing leases at the new complex, it is far from ready for move in day. While construction is visible at the future spot of The Grove on Fourth Street, the building is incomplete.

“We are pleased that construction is going according to plan and The Grove at Louisville is on track to be complete by the start of the 2014/2015 academic year,” said Cook. 

While The Grove may be confident in their construction progress, some students are concerned that their room won’t be ready before the scheduled move-in day of August 23, the Saturday prior to the first day of classes.

“Yeah, I’m kind of worried,” said Wood when asked if The Grove’s construction progress bothered her. “My parents are worried about it, too.”

“If it’s not done by move in day then where are all these people going to live?” asked Klein. 

Cook noted that this timeline excludes any inclement weather, as well as any other events that may hinder process, leading some to wonder where residents would be placed. At  the time of press, no back up plan had been presented to future residents or the Cardinal. When asked if this bothered her, Wood replied, “I mean it does worry me, but I remember when they were building the SRC and it didn’t look like they were going to get it finished on time, but they did.”

For more information on The Grove, visit their website at Gogrove.com/louisville or visit their leasing office in West Hall.

Miller Mold: gone for good?

By Olivia Krauth–

More than 100 students returned to a cleaner, safer dorm as 56 rooms in Miller Hall received new, mold-free wardrobes over winter break. The project is one of the last steps in ridding Miller Hall of mold infestations appearing since fall 2012.

The director of university housing says any second or third floor rooms not previously affected by mold this past semester received new wardrobes and had floor tiles repaired.

Students who got new wardrobes over break had to completely move out of their room to make room for the project. U of L Housing provided on-site storage for belongings, along with movers to assist in the process. Shannon Staten reports that there were no student complaints regarding the winter break process.

Freshman French and communications double major William Dalen Barlow was one of the students who returned to a nicer room. He says that he did not really have any major issues with the move out process.

“It was just a little frustrating having to move everything and box up the things I didn’t want to take home, but everything was taken care of and it was back where it was supposed to be (upon returning),” said Barlow.

The university hopes this project was the last mold-related changes facing the second and third floors. All the molding wardrobes had been on those floors–forcing some students to move out earlier in the fall semester. The first and fourth floors have not had any reported mold, but their wardrobes will be replaced in May once students move out for the summer.

The work on the freshman-only residence hall has raised some questions why it took two major mold outbreaks to address the problem. Staten said housing has done nothing but follow expert advice to solve the problem.

“We did everything last year we were advised we should do,” said Staten. “At that time, the experts thought the wardrobes would be okay to stay  We thought we had taken care of it, but then apparently the wardrobes were just old enough too, that they absorb moisture that they started creating a problem this fall.”

At press time the university was still gathering the expense total for the most recent work.

Some work in hallways and a few rooms in The Complex was also completed while students were away. The Complex rooms have been known to have mold as well, but the infestations were less severe than Miller.

While it appears the mold problem is solved for now, Staten says that this is not the end of long-term mold work for housing.

“We are still investigating doing some long-term work in Miller, like some fresh air intake,” said Staten. She said that this work will take place sometime in the “next few years.”

Past efforts to clean up the mold resulted in residents needing to move to other dorms while workers completely cleaned their room. This time, residents seemed to be “very happy” upon returning to their dorm after break, according to Staten.

When asked what his initial reaction was to his upgraded room, Barlow said, “It was so much nicer. I love the new floors and the new wardrobes. It’s so much better than the old rooms.”

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Students forced out as mold returns

Simon Isham & Olivia Krauth—

A least two students have been forced to live in dorm study lounges in Threlkeld Hall as mold infestations were found in their Miller Hall dorm rooms. Freshmen Ryan Long and Jacob Morris were moved nearly two weeks ago when they found a patch of mold rotting their wardrobe.

“The spent all summer trying to fix up the dorms,” said Long. “I moved into Miller because I thought it was safe to live there, but it wasn’t, and so I spent four hours … rolling our mail carts from Miller to (Threlkeld) with all of our possessions. I had two exams the next day, was up ‘til 2 a.m. studying.

“I’m not holding any grudges, but at the same time, we’ve been living out of trash bags for a week and a half now.”

There are 140 rooms in Miller Hall, 30 of which were identified as affected by the mold. Fifteen had a small level of mold that Hebert said could be washed away with household bleach. Students from the other 15 rooms were temporarily relocated to open rooms in other on-campus housing options, including Louisville Hall.

Mold in each of the affected Miller Hall dorm rooms was found growing on the rooms’ wardrobes, which are made of wood. Hebert said that the wardrobes will be replaced, which will take about ten days. Unaffected wardrobes on the affected second and third floors will be replaced over Christmas break. The remaining wardrobes will be replaced by the start of next year.

“It’s in the old, built-in wooden wardrobes,” said Shannon Staten, director of housing. The new wardrobes will be made of a laminated wood, which is less likely to retain moisture and grow mold.

Since the first week of school, U of L Housing has entered five dorms that have in the past been affected with mold. They visit these dorms weekly for inspection.

According to university spokesperson Mark Hebert, mold was initially found in Miller Hall two weeks ago, but Long and Morris’ room was not initially identified as a problem. Long was told that U of L Housing performed air quality checks, but did not find Long’s room’s mold via this method.

After Long filled out a work order form to have the mold removed, he was told that the room was deemed unsafe. He needed to move out by 3 p.m. that day so the mold could be removed, which U of L Housing told him could be finished as earlier as this coming weekend.

According to Hebert, when mold is reported, U of L Housing staff is first to inspect the problem, followed by trained environmental professionals if deemed necessary.

While Long and Morris appear to be the only two currently living in study lounges, other Threlkeld study lounges housed multiple beds and dressers. One Threlkeld resident that the Cardinal spoke to said that students had resided in the study room at the beginning of the semester, but have since been moved.

According to Long, the students are not being reimbursed for the inconvenience, nor were they offered any help from Housing or Physical Plant in moving their belongings from one dorm to another.

The incident occurs nearly a year after Miller Hall was shut down due to the discovery of mold. The freshman-only dorm was reopened in Jan. 2013 after being deemed mold-free. Heating and air conditioning units were replaced, as was the furniture. Nearly $4 million was spent on the clean-up last year, which led to budget cuts in the housing department. Other dorms were affected as well: similar changes were made in Threlkeld Hall, pipes were rewrapped in Center and Wellness Halls and West Hall was ultimately closed to residents.

“We made a decision that we could really only afford to take care of two of the buildings for what we needed to do to be able to continue to use them as a sleeping facility, and so we did Center and Wellness,” said Staten. “West is fine, and it’s fine to use and be in.”

Last time, displaced students were moved into off-campus dorms and hotels until the mold had been cleaned up.

“I think they should have treated us more like people than just a problem and a number,” said Long.

Ginny Washbish also contributed to this article.

UNBREAKABLE

Unbreakable: Louisville’s Inspired 2013 Championship Run

In celebration of the University of Louisville’s NCAA Championship victory over the University of Michigan, The Louisville Cardinal, the independent student newspaper, is proud to announce the publication of “Unbreakable: Louisville’s Inspired 2013 Championship Run,” an instant book released by Triumph Books.

The 128-page full-color book, available on April 15, is packed with Louisville Cardinal stories and dramatic photos from throughout Louisville’s historic season, including the Cardinals’ inspiring NCAA tournament run!

The softcover book includes profiles of head coach Rick Pitino, Russ Smith, Peyton Siva, Gorgui Dieng, Luke Hancock and other Louisville stars. Plus, there is a bonus section on the Louisville women’s run to the Final Four.

“The staff of the Louisville Cardinal rose to the occasion to produce an instant championship book,” said Mickey Meece, the adviser. “The photography and features and profiles capture the spirit of the team and the jubilation of Card Nation.”

Relive the heart-stopping moments and unforgettable accomplishments of a team that won America’s heart. Enjoy the work of student journalists, with an introduction by Louisville’s renowned sports journalist Billy Reed.

About the book: Full-color glossy, softcover, 8.5 x 11 inches, and 128 full-color pages

Pricing
Only $14.95, plus $6 shipping and handling
Add $1 S&H for each additional book.

How to Order
Contact The Louisville Cardinal; office@louisvillecardinal.com, Call Lisa Potter, business manager: 502.852.0701, Fax: 502.852.0700.

Order online at www.triumphbooks.com

Or call IPG at 1-800-888-4741, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

 

The Louisville Cardinal Inc. is a nonprofit organization. Proceeds from the book will go to buy equipment, train and support student journalists at the University of Louisville. To interview the student journalists, please contact Mickey Meece.

Staten said that with the addition of new furniture and desks the environment will be more welcoming to students

U of L students arrive at a mold-free Miller Hall

NEWS BRIEF

By Rae Hodge –

University of Louisville students are trickling back into Miller Hall today after the university’s months-long battle with mold in the dorm. About 25 of the expected 162 residents have arrived with boxes and parents in tow. They’re being greeted by pizza boxes and refreshments in the lobby, along with U of L’s housing coordinators and communications team.

“We’ll probably gain a few more students,” said director of housing, Shannon Staten. “The entire building has been cleaned. We can still take more students, and right now we have openings so they still have the option of a single or double room.”

Miller has 280 beds, all of which have been replaced. After stripping, clean-up and building-wide central air unit replacements, the rooms were all fitted with new desks and drawers. The carpets have also been cleaned by mold specialists National Environmental Contracting, Inc.

Staten also said that all central heating and air units in Threlkheld Hall were replaced over the holiday break. The communications team will be available through the weekend to speak with parents and students as they arrive.

Wardrobes have been sanded and stripped, and have had their doors removed

 

Staten said that the new desks and furniture will make the students feel more welcome as they arrive back to Miller Hall

 

The new beds can be raised, lowered, and bunked on top of each other.

 

 

All central air and heating units have been replaced and their borders re-caulked to prevent moisture build up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by Rae Hodge

Students moving from Miller Hall

Editorial: Molding us for the future

 Students both required to live on campus and exposed to ethical hazard

“How do you like your U of L dorm?”

“It’s growing on me.”Bada-bing.

It would be easy to take a few cheap shots at the University of Louisville for the recent mold problems on campus that led to the relocation of hundreds of students in the middle of their mid-term exams.

It would be easy to say that U of L’s record amount of private funds is being misdirected, noting that the U of L Board of Trustees and the Council on Postsecondary Education approved a plan to build a $38 million, 128,000-square-foot student recreation center, and that U of L sold $37.5 million in tax-exempt bonds to finance construction of the project.

We could argue that U of L should spend more on maintenance and less on new structures, and talk about the $31 million road project that will provide access to a 39-acre area that university officials plan to develop into the Belknap Engineering and Applied Sciences Research Park, of which U of L Foundation provided $6.2 million and the state provided $24.8 million.

As easy as they might be, they aren’t fair arguments against the university. Although mold doesn’t happen overnight, the University of Louisville’s spending record is proof enough that the intent of the U of L Foundation and Board of Trustees is to provide high-quality facilities for campus living. If anything, their securing funds for future construction proves their interests lie in creating the type of livability that keeps students in class and paying tuition. We’re a growing campus, and in the last 10 years the physical presence of this university has inarguably improved.

Accidents happen even to the best of us. In 2010, Columbia University was responsible for buildings that were found to have both mold and vermin. Responsible institutions do what they can to prevent accidents, apologize for their occurrence and rectify the situation by providing restitution to the effected and by preventing the same mistake from happening again.

U of L’s mold accident doesn’t so much highlight the flaws in U of L’s investment strategy as it does in their policy. Forget the cheap shots; here’s the real problem: requiring students to live on campus in these facilities per the First Year Live On policy. Because they cannot guarantee that accidents like these won’t happen, it is unethical for U of L to take away a student’s right to make their own informed choice of residence. Beyond that, First Year Live On is an incredibly infantilizing policy that should offend anyone old enough to sign a lease.

Forcing freshmen to live on campus their first year allows U of L to guarantee a yearly dollar amount to the private companies that own, construct and lease the buildings. This is the same principle as the student meal plan: to entice companies like Subway to set up shop, U of L guarantees a dollar amount via their mandatory meal plan.

On both the housing and food level, it is unethical for U of L to contribute to an inflating student loan bubble by taking federal student loan dollars (which you’ll have to pay back later) and giving them to private companies, particularly when the quality of the product is forever in question. I think that’s worth repeating: at U of L you are essentially a conduit through which private companies are able to access public money.

Regardless of how much money U of L invests in new construction projects, and regardless of how fantastically they may maintain the older buildings, the argument remains the same: if the housing options were as great as U of L says they are, U of L wouldn’t have to force you to live there. That they do should call both their motives and capacity into question, and rightly invites the extreme criticism of anyone unfortunate enough to have to move into — or out of — Mold Hall.

opinion@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo: Tricia Stern/The Louisville Cardinal

By Austin Lassell

U of L policy changes freshmen housing options

Miller Hall is one of three dorms on campus that provides housing exclusively to freshmen.

By Genevieve Mills–

The freshmen on campus are now almost a month into their first semester at U of L and are the first group who have been required to live on campus by the new housing policy. According to the housing website, by this policy, “all U of L first-year students under 21 are required to live on campus, unless living at home with a parent or guardian.

For some freshmen, this new policy made no difference in their housing plans. When asked if the new housing policy affected his decision, Justin Sierkowski, a freshman music major said, “I would have lived on campus regardless.” Sierkowski lives at Community Park, one of the suite-style dorms located on campus. He said he liked living on campus because, “I enjoy being close to everything and always knowing about cool events.”

According to the housing website, the policy has been implemented because freshmen who live on campus tend to finish their degree at the university more than those who live off campus. This isn’t a belief held only by U of L, as almost every state school in Kentucky requires students to live on campus their first year – UK is the only exception.

The freshmen that choose to live off-campus often do so because of financial reasons. Alex Cooper, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, lived at home last year. “I lived off campus because it was just cheaper to do so . . . I would again because, though I used more gas, I saved a lot of money,” said Cooper.

Miller Hall, one of three freshmen-only dorms, is $3,785 including the required meal plan, for one semester. The other two freshmen-only dorms are Unitas Tower and Center Hall. Center Hall, located on the west side of campus, became a freshmen-only dorm this fall.

The problem some students have with the new policy is that the university is restricting their choices.  Cooper said,  “I don’t think it affects that many people, really, because most freshman either live on campus or with their parents. But I think you should be able to live wherever you want.”

news@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo: Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal

province

U of L parking overflow causes problems at The Province

Very few parking spots can be found a The Province since the implementation of the overflow lot.

By Tyler Mercer–

Scheduled to open in the fall of 2013, the University of Louisville’s new student recreation center has begun construction. This construction has directly affected residents of both University of Louisville Properties housing and those of the Province. Students, who would normally have parked in the lot next to Kurz Hall, are now being forced to park in a new student parking lot that was opened this semester at the Province.

Students must now use the Province’s bridge to access their vehicles and because of this, safety has become a concern for both sets of residents. Amanda Puckett, a freshman psychology major at the University of Louisville, said, “I always feel a little bit weary when I have to walk over to my car. I would think that a lot of students feel that way. In the back of their minds, I’m sure there is some worry that something will happen to them or maybe even their car if it’s parked off campus.”

A representative from the University of Louisville housing department reported that there are blue lights stationed in the new lot along with a security guard near the pedestrian bridge and walking security guards in the parking lot itself.

With this increase in foot and vehicle traffic, residents of the Province are noticing more activity in their own neighborhood. Commuter students, who normally would have to park a good distance from campus, have started to use the Province’s parking lot because it is not patrolled.

“No one checks these lots for passes so students can park here for free without fear of a parking ticket,” said Jessica Bartlett, a resident at the Province, “I don’t feel safe when I have to park a building or two away at night when the lot at my building is full, and I have to struggle back to my apartment with my backpack and groceries.”

Bartlett also voiced concerns about her personal safety at the Province. “Someone was robbed at gunpoint in my good friend’s building. I know these things can happen regardless of the new parking, but with the new lot there are more people in and around the complex.”

Students from U of L, who now park at the Province, should keep this information in mind when deciding when they travel to their vehicles and what exactly they feel safe leaving inside them.

“I probably wouldn’t walk around alone at night,” says Grace Thoeny, a resident at the Province, “but I wouldn’t do that anywhere in Louisville.”

The safety of everyone involved is very important. For questions about safety while living here at U of L, contact University Police at (502) 852-6111. In the case of an emergency, call 911.

news@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo: Rae Hodge/The Louisville Cardinal

hanginondabalconyJBSL

Residents move into new Rustin Community

By Noor Yussuf

University Tower Apartments, UTA, now houses a new living learning community with a social justice theme named after the civil rights activist Bayard Rustin.

This year the 8th floor of UTA houses students who are interested in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) issues as well as other social justice programs, “We are a social justice themed housing that provides a safe, affirming environment for students of all identities,” said Molly Eames, a senior at the University of Louisville, who is the resident assistant of the community.

The floor is named after Bayard Rustin, a famous civil rights activist who is one of the organizers of the march on Washington, and also marched with Dr. Martin Luther King and other prominent civil rights activists. Rustin, himself, was a gay man who faced many challenges. However Brian Buford, the director of the LGBT office, hopes Rustin’s role in social justice issues will inspire students, “he is, in my mind, the embodiment of everything we hope students will learn about social justice, and he’s the inspiration that we will build things on,” Buford said.

While the program is mainly concerned on LGBT issues, it is open to all other students who have interest in all social justice issues, “We love allies and it’s not just queer-focused at all, we talk about myriad issues in the social justice realm, we have something to offer everyone,” said Eames.

Jana Hockersmith, a freshman, who graduated from Eastern High School is among the residents who live at the Rustin community. She also believes that this will help her transition to college, “I think this community will really help me become more active on campus and make my transition from high school to college much easier.”

Though the Rustin community has been operating now for only two weeks, Hockersmith already enjoys the program, “I have made a lot of friends quickly, and our resident assistant has been nothing, but supportive, and she is really a big part of what makes living here so great,” she said.

Although this is the first year the social justice themed housing is started, Jacob Jones, a sophomore majoring in Justice Administration, hoped that this community was there during his freshman year, “I was so terrified of being placed with a random roommate when applying for housing, but knowing that my potential roommate had similar interests as I do and a fair-minded sense of being would have made me feel a lot more comfortable when making the transition,” Jones said.

While there’s another living learning community for those interested in Leadership at Center Hall, programs like these boost students’ academic performance, “we know that participation in a community like this one has been linked to academic success, retention and an overall sense of connection to campus life,” Buford said.

The program is created through a collaboration between the office of LGBT and the University of Louisville Housing and Residence Life, “My office will lead the programmatic aspects of the community, and the residence life folks will handle all the other important aspects of housing,” Buford said.

Among the major programs the group is looking forward to will be held on October 4th, during Pride Week celebrations. They have invited Rustin’s surviving partner Walter Naegle and national activist Mandy Carter to lead a celebration.

news@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo: Nathan Douglas/The Louisville Cardinal