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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Is Harbor Point Safe?

Eight hundred UMB students currently reside at Harbor Point
Eight hundred UMB students currently reside at Harbor Point

Harbor Point Apartments houses more UMB students than any other complex near the school. With disturbing events however, such as the shooting on March 21 that resulted in the injury of five-year-old Sheldon Mathias and originated at Harbor Point, as well as the rumored lack of security, the question arises whether it is actually beneficial for the average student to live in the only facility available resembling on-campus living.

UMB prides itself on being a commuter school, drawing in students from diverse backgrounds from all over metro-Boston. The University does not view dorms as particularly necessary for a college experience, but instead sees the lack of on-campus living as one of the strong suits of the school.

Regardless of how school officials view the direction of the University, college will always be one of the most influential times of a student’s life and many students believe that living on campus is an important part of that experience they just cannot go without. Whether desire to meet a life-long friend, a future spouse, or just be around if any good parties should appear, dorm life has been drilled into most of us by our parents as well as countless movies and television shows since we learned the word college.

If one wishes to no longer live at home with the P.U.’s-Parental Units-or is uncomfortable with the idea of finding a room with a total stranger who more than likely is not a UMass student, the only realistic alternative to a dorm are the infamous Harbor Point Apartments.

Also taken into great consideration for those students venturing off by themselves is travel time. In search for the perfect location, college students hunt for their new home with the hope of finding a place close enough to campus so they can roll out of bed and scamper off to class with no worries.

A mixture of grads, undergrads, young professionals and anything and everything else, Harbor Point offers students an extremely unique experience they will not find anywhere else. The apartments are like a dorm in that students will have very small rooms, often shared with another student; or a number of students might share one apartment with several bedrooms as well as the common area.

Parties occur frequently at Harbor Point, forcing students to deal with campus security-when campus Police make the effort to trek out to the apartment buildings. The Harbor Point security team replaces the University security and the notorious RAs that plague dorms on campuses nation-wide.

Though one might assume the safety of apartment buildings housing both college students and everyday citizens would be rather high, or even better than many other apartment complexes, almost the exact opposite has proven to be the case at Harbor Point. “The security there is pretty much a joke,” said one UMB freshman. “They’re very lenient about things.”

Unfortunately, this unsettling statement has yet to be proven false. The fact that Harbor Point does not have a good reputation with safety and security has severe consequences because parents may encourage their children to live elsewhere. UMB students themselves will most likely have at lease some aversion to residing in a relatively unsafe environment. And so, what are we left with?

For any student who wishes to leave their mother’s nest, UMB does offer help in the University housing office. But the offers this option provides are far from equivalent to dorms. Any student on campus is also aware of the countless fliers seeking the perfect roommate.

One can also venture onto the Internet, surfing site after site for housing options. Criagslist has been a favorite, I was even able to find my room there listed among countless ads. But all of these alternatives still do not make up for the deficiency of dorm rooms.

The fact remains that UMass Boston is not, and most likely will not become in the near future, a dorm school. If UMB students cannot find sanctuary in Harbor Point, or any other housing available to them, one must infer that the only logical solution would be for them to pick up and transfer to another University altogether, only for die-hard dorm fans of course.

The commuter aspect is a defining characteristic of the school we all love, or at least attend, and the lack of dorms is something students must learn to accept or wait out. Students have been, and will continue to thrive at our peninsula campus without that “necessary” college component.