Rant of the Week: Housing: Inaccessible and Inconvenient


When I registered for a Housing Accommodation, I knew I could not use it as a special card to room with my friends, but I figured I would still have a valuable voice in the process. Through multiple appointments, I was able to find a placement that fit my needs, but the process was lengthy and required a lot of research. 

I’m pretty sure if I wasn’t in my exact situation–living with people in my suite next year, so I’m technically room-retaining– I would have to live in the 16-person suite in the HILL, probably with people I have never met before. This seemed terrifying and upsetting to me, so I obviously wanted to try to toom with my friends. 

I was able to find an approved loophole in the system to help me room with my friends in an accommodating building, but the leadup to this process brought a lot of anxiety and frustration.

There are only three dorms on campus that fit my accommodation, and two were almost always reserved for juniors and seniors. I completely understand seniority, but our dorms need to be renovated to offer more accommodating spaces. I can’t believe that upperclassmen still live in buildings like Main Hall that don’t even offer air conditioning. 

The Housing Process is simply just confusing, too. I basically completed the process for this year, yet I’m hesitant to even write this article because I still have so many questions. I guess my biggest complaint is that I’m confused. 

I have absolutely no issues with the Housing Department itself; I’ve actually found them to be very responsive. As a special shoutout, Alex Lauth has especially been helpful and accommodating and made sure that I found a comfortable placement for next year. 

In addition to the difficulty of housing placements, there’s a financial barrier that prevents students with disabilities from acquiring their accommodations. First, I have to pay more money to live in an accessible building (The HILL) that still is not always accessible

Second, parking-wise: there’s already not enough for commuter students, let alone residents. If I wanted an accessible parking space in the HILL’s parking lot, it would cost hundreds of dollars more than the parking lot under the Hill to Hill Bridge. 

I’ll briefly address why parking under the bridge isn’t desirable: it’s a decent walk, it’s off-campus (so no Blue Lights), and most importantly, there is no parking during events like Celtic Fest, which takes over the entire “parking lot.”

I hate to say it, but it feels like a subtle form of ableism when I can’t pick who I want to room with. I understand the worries of people taking advantage of the system to room with their friends, but that is extremely frustrating to hear when the accommodation process is so long and tedious. 

It took me an entire month and multiple appointments, emails, and phone calls for my Housing Accommodation to eventually get approved. It’s not an easy process; it’s actually incredibly stressful and frustrating, and I found myself wanting to give up on the process multiple times. I actually did give up twice before my living conditions became so absurd I knew I had to get out. 

My main point is: the housing process at Moravian needs some serious revamping. My accommodations might demand a lot, but it’s disheartening to see how few dorms are accessible. 

It’s heartbreaking to feel like students with disabilities’ interests are not valued during the housing process–it feels like only their health interests matter. But housing placements are so much more than a space that fits a physical accommodation; they determine the course of an entire school year. 

If you’re living with random or disrespectful people, it could ruin your entire year, yet the housing accommodations process does not account for mental health at all. It feels like I’m being left out while all of my friends get to plan who they want to live with and where when I’m limited to medical placements. 

In addition, I personally believe that some living essentials, like air-conditioning, shouldn’t require a Housing Accommodation; Bernie-Willie in the first month of the fall semester was so brutal, it was actually inhumane. It feels like a health hazard to all students, regardless of disability status, as they cannot install window A/C units. 

Students shouldn’t have to have five fans running consecutively, falling asleep holding frozen water bottles, with absolutely no sheets on their bed, for the first and last few weeks of the semester; it’s unacceptable. It’s clear that our dorms need to be renovated and soon. 

And I shouldn’t be using the same bathrooms my mom used when she went to Moravian in the 80s. It’s time for a change.