The (Partial) Closure of Earp: A Student Perspective

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 at 10:42 PM
The (Partial) Closure of Earp: A Student Perspective by William Stevens

Editor’s note: At the time of publication, Earp was still being considered for first floor residential usage, but students choosing housing assignments are still unable to select it. Housing officials were not available for comment at deadline.

Imagine a scenario where you have just moved to Edinboro University as an incoming freshman from Ontario, Canada. You play for the tennis team, and you live in Earp Hall along with several teammates.

Just last year, as you were figuring out all the details about attending Edinboro University, you found a place to live in Earp. As you unpacked your belongings and set up the room, you thought you’d spend the next four years there. But now, on top of your involvement with the tennis team and your classwork, you also have to worry about where you will be living next semester.

That is what Edinboro freshman Kevin Mboko has been doing for the last few months. He hasn’t been able to solely focus on classes and tennis because he is too stressed about his living situation.

“They are planning to move us to Rose (from Earp), which I don’t like the sound of.”

He said the rooms and closets are smaller, which means they will likely need to use bunk beds. Since he lives so far from home, he can’t stop by his house for the belongings that don’t fit in his dorm. He also considers the Rose hallways difficult to navigate. And he affirmed that Earp has a much more social atmosphere and is more spacious when compared to Rose.

Mboko says the team has tried to talk to their coach, hoping to increase their scholarships in order to move to the Highlands for the same price as Earp. He also said they reached out to other university officials.

Lee Underwood, head tennis coach for the Edinboro University men’s and women’s tennis teams affirmed that the men’s team in particularly has bonded a considerable amount over the course of the semester.

He says many of them live together, have classes together and eat together. They also have practices together, which even further helps to strengthen their bond as a team.

Mboko wonders how much things will change next semester.

“I’m very worried about next semester since I am basically forced to live in a place I don’t want to be…The whole situation has put a lot of stress on me.”

Mboko has tried to get out of his two-year housing contract, but he said the housing office told him he would need to be financially unstable (to exit the contract).

“The first year was very helpful to meet new people, but now I think I’m able to handle myself,” he said about the contract.

Mboko also spoke with some people in housing about his options, but they “would not budge.” According to him, they said his only options were to move to either Rose or the Highlands.

“I don’t want to pay more [for the Highlands] because I’m already paying a lot to come here. I’m just very confused about the situation,” he said.

Mboko went on to say that he has even considered not coming back to Edinboro. His alternative would be transferring to a Canadian university. He said the only thing keeping him here is the tennis program.

“I love my sport and I love competing for the school, but right now this is making it hard for me to enjoy school,” Mboko said.

Underwood said he is available for the students to talk about the situation. He offered the example of a tenant who finds out that his or her landlord won’t be renting the apartment again. In only a few months, the tenant must hurry to find a new place to live.

“Obviously there’s going to be some discomfort and maybe some anxiety…So I’ll help where I can,” he said.

“It’s hard for students to envision what they haven’t done yet,” he continued.

He said that it’s no different than when they first began their college career. They imagined the way things would be, but it doesn’t always turn out quite the way they expected.

Will Stevens is the Campus Life Editor for The Spectator and he can be reached at campuslife.spectator@gmail.com.

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