Brutally Honest: The Woods situation

Denny Patterson, Senior Editor

Crazy times are headed towards Millikin. What a shocker, right? With the open presidential forums and the Student Senate question and answer session with President White, it seems like Millikin is on a constant downhill spiral. Talks of cutting faculty, tuition increasing and closing down a residence hall – what else could happen? I probably shouldn’t ask that.

For this column, I would like to focus on the Woods. The ultimate goal is to make the Woods more appealing for students, but let’s be real. Paying $7,143 compared to a residence hall’s price of $5,000 is a bargain these days. Price is usually the number one answer as to why a student does not want to live there, the party atmosphere being the second.

As President White said, “the residential experience is important to students.” I fully agree with this statement. Housing can be a deal breaker when it comes to the overall Millikin experience. Even though the decisions that will be made will not have any impact on me, they will for many students in the years to come.

I do not believe that shutting down a residence hall is going to do the trick. If the New Halls and Weck are turned into freshmen dorms, the Woods will be the primary housing for upperclassmen. If students feel like they are being forced to live in the Woods, I fear that this will increase on the number of students transferring out. Many others feel this way as well.

Student Representative to the Board and senior Jackson Graves said in last week’s “Decaturian,”  “The potential of some non-freshmen being unable to afford residence in the Woods is a real issue. I am afraid that many will be extremely upset with the narrowing of student options, as I am now. I fear for a lowered retention, I fear for recruitment restrictions and I fear for a decrease is morale. These events seem to be unchangeable at this present time, but that does not mean we cannot stay strong for this University. We had another dark financial time a few years ago that we were able to ameliorate through positivity and hard work. This situation is a different one, but I think we can get through it by unifying and understanding the common goal here. That common goal is to perpetuate this gem of a university.”

It is a little disheartening that all eyes are looking at Mills. Yes, closing down Mills might have its benefits, but there will also be some disadvantages. Mills is a part of Millikin’s history, but all good things must come to an end some point in life. I have never lived in Mills, but everyone who has say that they absolutely love it. The sense of community and friendship the freshmen create is only the beginning of their college career.

Whatever decision is made, I have full faith in President White and the administration. If the Woods can clean up its act and become more attractive perhaps we will see an increase in living there. The Woods was once the place to be if you were an upperclassman. We can only hope that will happen again.