Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

Students on West Campus face unique issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic this year.

November 11, 2020

Students Recount Social Struggles, Limited Food Options and Spiders While Living on West Campus

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For students who live on West Campus, the fall semester has been characterized by disappointing food, difficulties finding friends and — for those who live in the gothics — spiders. 

Vanessa Vivilecchia ’23, who lives in William Keaton House, said she has generally enjoyed her experience living on West, but has one main complaint: the lack of food options and the dining halls’ inconvenient hours. 

“I’m paying so much money to have three meals a day. I have these unlimited swipes and there’s times where I just don’t need to go to the dining hall because the hours are so weird, and the offerings are just not up to par,” Vivilecchia said. “I didn’t go to the dining hall at all today. I ate out all day.”

Ananya Gupta ’23, who lives in gothic North Baker Hall, expressed the same disappointment.

“The options aren’t that great. I think what makes it worse is that it’s unlimited. So, you know, it’s so expensive that I feel guilty spending my money elsewhere,” Gupta said. “There are days where I just can’t eat the food at all.”

Gupta described her experience living on West Campus as “good for the most part,” other than a few struggles, most of which come with living in a gothic.

“We don’t have any water fountains in our building, so we either have to use the sink or go to a different building, and we don’t have our own laundry room, so we have to go to another building for that,” Gupta said. 

But her primary concern with living in a gothic was the spiders. She and her roommate have had to spend their own money on “bottles and bottles” of spider repellant, as their work requests have taken multiple weeks to be addressed, one of which was canceled after a month-long wait. 

And during a pandemic, William Keaton House resident Jessica Molitor ’23 said that students adhere to COVID guidelines rather well. 

“Everyone follows the COVID rules because it’s not that social,” said Jessica Molitor ’23, a resident of William Keaton House.

Additionally, the three students all said they experienced difficulty in meeting new people while living on West Campus.

“I think meeting people is harder on West than I think it would be in Collegetown or on North Campus, just because most of the people tend to keep to themselves,” Gupta said. 

Molitor said she felt as if she was missing out on a true college social experience. 

“I definitely feel like right now I’m missing a lot, the social components that go along with living in a dorm,” Molitor said. “Usually when I think of dorms, I think, ‘Oh, everyone knows each other on the floor.’ Everyone’s social, you have your group, but it’s been pretty silent here.” 

But with COVID-19 restrictions, social matters appear to be lower on the priority list of West Campus residents. 

“There’s not much socialization going on, and that could totally be a COVID thing, but I’ve also heard that it’s kind of just a West Campus thing,” Vivilecchia said.