EC townhouse and high-rise suites will not have traditional stoves or ovens next year. Here’s why, and how it will affect you.
In an email sent last Friday, Columbia Housing announced that due to ongoing renovations, EC suites will not have functioning stoves or ovens for the 2018-19 school year. In its place, Housing will supplement suites with hot plates and convection microwave ovens.
The announcement has left many prospective EC residents with mixed reactions. As demonstrated by our housing selection coverage today, student sentiments have ranged from upset to optimistic (see bottom of post). One resident called it “pretty shitty,” while another said their view was still “positive,” but added that, “The kitchen thing isn’t ideal. Kind of wish they would discount dining plans or something.” Many seniors didn’t even realize the renovations were occurring until after they had picked into EC. One senior was overheard shouting, “I didn’t even know!”
In a statement to Bwog, Housing explained that approximately 20 EC suites have actually had no working stovetops or ovens since this 2017-18 school year, because of problems with aging gas lines, an incident reminiscent of other issues in the maintenance of current Columbia buildings. In an effort to create a “long-term, sustainable solution,” Housing will be “converting the entire [EC] building from gas to electric service for cooking.” Because this project would be too intrusive during the school year, renovations will begin, but will not be finished, this summer.
For future EC residents like Allison Clark, CC ’19, this announcement complicates previous plans.
“[My suitemates and I] were planning on cooking suite brunches and we will have to eat out instead. Most of us are planning on having meal plans, but if we weren’t, it would be pretty impossible for all of us to cook for ourselves with one hotplate,” Clark said. “We are planning on buying or demanding another hotplate and probably a fryer. We are also worried about the counter space, considering counter space is already scarce in East Campus. It’s kind of a bummer that our one chance to live in a senior dorm with nice facilities has been compromised.”
When asked if any other appliances beyond the convection oven and hot plate would be provided, Housing stated that: “Small appliances are allowed in kitchen areas that are consistent with the list of allowable items. Since students have been informed of the situation prior to selecting their room for next year, we will not be able to offer further accommodations.”
Another specific concern has been over the timing of the communication of this information, as Housing made the announcement after group registration had ended and only a few days before in-person room registration started. One anonymous tip sent to Bwog said, “This screws over any group that wants/needs a kitchen but can’t really regroup now because there’s no other options left for them after forming their groups.”
In response, Housing told Bwog, “Staff worked up until the end of last week to identify any possible alternative solution, and continues to explore potential measures that will mitigate the effect of these necessary repairs during the 2018-19 academic year.”
Here are some more of the opinions of seniors who picked into EC today when asked about the renovations, for your reading pleasure.
Hot tea, warmed without a stove via Bwog Archives