Rant of the Week: Mediocre Reality of HILL Living

Photo courtesy of Moravian University.

Photo courtesy of Moravian University.

When I started paying approximately $800 more a semester to live in the HILL, I won’t lie; I expected to live a life of luxury. Don’t get me wrong, it is still so much better than my previous residence hall, but I have a lot of complaints. 

First, the mailroom is nowhere near comparable to that of North campus. 

The hours are infrequent and inconsistent, to the point where I was advised to keep picking up my packages on North campus. Due to these irregular hours, I have to carry around boxes from the mailroom to all my classes until I can shuttle back to the other side of campus at the end of the day. 

My arms are tired, and I don’t want to carry around a 20-pound box of books all day when all my friends can just run down the hill to put their packages away. 

My second complaint is the lack of a water fountain for water bottles. Maybe I was just lucky, but there was a water fountain and water bottle filling station on every floor in Bernie, and I am yet to find a single one in the HILL. The tap water tastes awful, and I found myself extremely dehydrated until I could purchase a much-needed Brita filter. 

My subsequent complaint is the so-called “full kitchens” that do not even come with a microwave. 

Thankfully, someone in my suite is generous enough to share their microwave with everyone, but I cannot imagine how annoying it was to lug that thing in on Move-In Day. If every other dorm has a microwave and mini-fridge in each room, I feel it’s not too much to ask to have one microwave installed in a kitchen shared between 16 people. 

From my personal experience, the HILL seems to be the perfect (and seemingly only) place on campus for students with accommodations and disabilities. 

However, the elevator on my side of the building was broken for approximately a month in November. It’s pretty disappointing to have to use the stairs for multiple weeks in a row, as I have a housing accommodation to receive elevator access. I’m sure I’m not the only person in the HILL with this sort of accommodation, and it seemed like there was no hurry to repair the elevator. 

Even when it was fixed, I was a little hesitant to use it. After being “repaired,” the light didn’t work inside, the elevator no longer displayed the floor number it was on, it no longer beeped when arriving at a floor, and some buttons were finicky. 

I still used the elevator, especially since the other elevator in the HILL is quite shaky and unsettling, but I was not excited about it. Eventually, when I arrived back from winter break, the elevator was functioning correctly, but I was still concerned about how long it was left acting odd. 

I have many smaller complaints about the HILL, such as being unable to control the rooms’ temperatures. I know first-year students who can regulate the room temperature in Rau-Hassler, so I was confused when I learned I don’t have that same control here.​ For some reason, my suite is always freezing, and I have to walk around in multiple layers. 

Also, the showers do not stay warm for longer than 10-15 minutes maximum. 

When I’m unlucky enough to shower after someone else, I’m fortunate to receive five minutes of hot water. Even in Bernie-Willie, there was unlimited hot water that never seemed to get cold; now, the cold water kicks me out before I can even rinse out my conditioner. 

In addition, the humidity in one room of the HILL is only 22%, with the addition of a humidifier when it should be within 30-50%. Poor humidity can cause respiratory problems, sleep issues, and even odd symptoms like increased sweating. 

When South campus residents eventually fall ill under these conditions, there is no Health Center on our side of campus, and we’re forced to take the shuttle and later trudge up and down the hill to the Health Center. 

There’s also a degree of separation between North residents that most members of South campus feel. If my friends suddenly decide to hang out at night, I’ll probably be 45 minutes late because the shuttles are on their night schedule. Even when I perfectly calculate my routine to the shuttle stops, I always seem to miss it and mess up my schedule. Obviously, there are so many things that I love about living in the HILL, and I’ll probably continue living here; I just expected a little more from my tuition and board rates.