“PARDON OUR DUST” is a series of newly created programming events for Rescom meant to appease residents, but it’s just not cutting it. This series put on by the resident assistants and the Rescom area coordinator is meant to support residents through their challenging living conditions brought about by the ongoing construction. When I first read this email about the new programming, I laughed out loud, literally. I cannot imagine any type of program that could possibly make up for the chaotic environment that Rescom residents are living in.
The funny part wasn’t the actual programming event or even what the event entailed but the way the email to announce the programming was written. The email came off with sincere intentions, but just didn’t measure up. As a Rescom resident, I thought the email wasn’t very genuine since the new programming events were thrown in right after an update about construction.
The first event was cupcake night on Tuesday, Oct. 28. Now, I like cupcakes just as much as the next person, but are cupcakes really supposed to reconcile the construction. Cupcakes don’t even begin to make up for the lack of Rescom amenities… Not to mention the continuing unwanted wake up calls by construction workers and loud pounding noises occurring at 7:00 am and even sometimes at 4:00 am. Cupcakes really don’t surmount to the amount of stress that has caused. Unless this is some type of event like cupcake wars, I don’t think they ever will.
We are more than halfway through the semester and they just now decide to do something. I think they should have tried, maybe a month or two ago when all these problems began. From the very beginning when Rescom residents sent numerous emails complaining about the living conditions and construction starting too early, we received no response. Now they finally decided to aid our stress by doing programs that are already mandatory for all residence halls. It is part of the resident hall association’s job to plan activities such as cupcake night that bring residents together. By putting the title on the series of events, “Pardon our Dust,” they are putting a label on something to make Rescom residents feel special, but in reality, the event has been done before and isn’t really anything special. By titling it, they are trying to add importance to the events but little do they know, Rescom residents don’t care about the programming. Most of the residents are juniors or seniors and probably have better things to do anyways but who are we to deny free food, afterall we are college students.
They have to do programming regardless of whether or not the construction is happening. The fact that they are trying to take a mandatory program and say that it is to support us, is ridiculous. If they wanted to support residents, they should have done it from the beginning or got something that might actually help, such as earplugs or noise cancelling devices… not a cupcake.
The next “Pardon our dust” programming events are in the works according to sophomore communication major and Rescom resident assistant Leila Rugambarara. “At this moment we do not know what the next programs will be,” said Rugambarara. “We [the resident assistants and head resident] decide on the programs and welcome all our residents to pitch in.”
I appreciate the effort and am grateful that they are trying to reconcile with us and that they finally understand our situation with living in Rescom, but they should have done this sooner. I highly doubt they would want to pay $3,442.00 per semester to live here and deal with what we have to deal while at the same time focusing on education. No amount of cupcakes, or any programming event for that matter, will make up for living conditions. As a Rescom resident, I will be taking advantage of the Pardon our dust programs since after all they are “implemented to help me through this challenging time.”
If the people responsible for Rescom thought of taking action sooner, fewer residents might have moved out. “Oh my god. They think cupcakes can help with being woken up Monday through Saturday between 3-5 am and go until 6 pm? What makes me want to explode is the fact that no one in Rescom received a single email regarding what would take place during almost half the semester; for all the money we pay at UT, we at least deserved a heads up,” said senior marine biology major and former Rescom resident Laura Frías.
Katie Drake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org