UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Housing: Many Possibilities, But…

This week we report in our lead story that the first

steps have finally been taken to populate this cam-

pus with student residents. While we applaud these efforts, we are beset by a multitude of worries about the outcome of this housing initiative.

Who will get the dorms? Grad students? International students? Freshmen? Poor students? Athletes?

How much will they cost? More than a Dorchester apartment? Less?

What types of supporting facilities will be available? Laundromat? Convenience store? Restaurant? A bar?

How about location? They have many possibilities, but…

Our primary worries are that the state government mentality will dictate the answers instead of common sense. Our worries are that the most absolutely wrongest decisions will be made, continuing a tradition of user-unfriendly buildings.

There is mention of a “feasibility study” and “comprehensive reports.” How about a habitability report? Or a quality of life report?

There is an organic style of design in which after a building is constructed, the landscapers won’t immediately lay out sidewalks in the normal patterns-with 90-degree angles and adjacent to roads. Instead, the designers wait for the inhabitants to populate the area and walk where they will, beating paths into the ground-with convenient curves cutting across corners, and direct routes across large open expanses. There is an attempt to design a living area around how people live, instead of forcing lives into inhuman 90-degree angles.

This campus is at present inhospitable. Perhaps even a government can learn from past blunders. Or perhaps not. But we’ll continue to hope.