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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Social Distinction

Social Interaction is not something that is easy to come by here at UMass Boston. I had always been skeptical about attending a commuter college because of the lack of social relationships. The transition from Temple University in Philadelphia, where currently 27,397 students are enrolled, was a vast difference from UMass Boston. I spent my first two college years at Temple where I lived on campus with the majority of my freshman class. Personally, I had no problem with the transfer because UMass was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to buckle down and concentrate on my academics and graduate as soon as possible. Forming social relationships was the last thing on my agenda.

The reason for choosing to write about this issue is due to the fact that I hear students complaining about this very issue on a daily basis. Students attend college for one reason and one reason only, to study hard and earn a degree. That is the ultimate college experience, right? Maybe through our parents eyes but we all know that there is much more to college then attending your classes and studying for the next exam. These other aspects of college are something I feel a school like UMass is lacking and could benefit from greatly. Lets be honest, it’s tough to form true friends at a school the doesn’t offer on campus housing. Living on a college campus is one of the most intriguing experiences. You get the opportunity to be on your own and take full responsibility for your actions. It is a big part of the growing process from a high school student to a college student. Sure there a handful of you who decided to live in a nearby apartment but a majority of students can not afford to do that.

So why can’t UMass construct dorms and turn this Institution into a socially desirable school? I have heard rumors that there are zone restrictions and that UMass cannot require enough land to make this happen but I find that extremely hard to believe. I am sure everyone has noticed the new peninsula apartments that are finally close to being finished located directly across from the baseball field. That specific plot of land has been sitting there for numerous years. With a little persistence and determination from UMass trustees, I feel the opportunity for on campus living could have become a reality. Three high rise dorms could have been constructed on that land for an opportunity for freshman living. It would have been a great start to allow freshman student the opportunity to build genuine relationships with their fellow classmates. Passing students in the hallway while attending classes then retreating home at the end of the day, is a tough way to build solid relationships. Sure there are clubs and sports but the reality is a majority of students either don’t have time for those things or just aren’t interested.

Anyone who has attended another university knows exactly what I am stating when it comes to on campus living. There is nothing that beats it. It allows your entire college experience to unfold in ways you could not imagine.