By Thomas Kenny
In late February, the College community was told that both Travers and Wolfe Residence Halls were going to be closing permanently by 2024 with new village-style housing as possible replacements, via an email by President Foster.
The two first-year student dorms have become symbolic across campus, as they have been a place of residence for incoming freshmen at the College for 51 years. Unfortunately, occupancy levels for both Towers will decrease beginning next year as the College implements improvements to the residential experience.
The Towers closing may bring disappointment, but the College can justly replace them to improve our campus, hopefully without losing the sentimental value they hold.
The email sent by President Foster announcing the closure of the Towers did acknowledge that prior attempts to renovate or even close the Towers had already been previously discussed. It is encouraging that the College tried its best to keep the Towers for as long as possible, as they were able to recognize the significance the Towers brought for many alumni and current students.
As a resident of Travers Hall, it is unfortunate to see its closing, but it is nice to see the College is trying to improve campus living spaces. This semester especially has shown a need for the Towers’ closing as many disturbances have affected residents’ living experience. From malfunctioning fire alarms to consistently broken elevators, residents have endured many difficulties.
While there are many issues with the Towers, it is important to look at the positives.
For instance, T-Dubs, the late-night dining location that is located on the ground level, is popular and a great place to enjoy a nighttime meal on campus. Additionally, many murals from past residents are decorated in the hallways, which helps reinforce the tight-knit community that past and current residents have. Whether watching television shows and movies in the lounge, or hanging out with my friends in our rooms, living here is an enjoyable experience and I am grateful for the memories I have.
When I first heard that the Towers would be taken down, I was upset and disappointed as they contributed to my smooth transition into college. Many incoming students might feel stressed starting school, but for me, living in the Towers settled those nerves as it gave me the opportunity to meet some great people.
But as I thought about it more, I came to realize that changes are needed.
Building malfunctions that interfere with our campus life should not consistently occur, and since renovating the Towers is not an option, I agree with knocking them down. I have trust in the College’s attempt to build new and improved residence halls for incoming freshmen in the future. We have a great campus that is always improving, like with Campus Town, so I have faith in their ability to replace them with something even better.
The removal of the Towers should have been expected by many, but questions may arise on how they should be properly replaced.
I am looking forward to the project of replacing these freshman residence halls and have hope that a new and improved dorm can accommodate incoming freshmen in the future.
The Towers may not last much longer, but they will remain sentimental for alumni, current students and the few future freshmen residents.