Chat with the Chief: How much bang for the buck?

Shhhh! Listen closely. Do you hear that? No, I’m not referring to the birds singing or the students on the quad enjoying the warm spring air. I’m talking about the passionate and obnoxious moans of vigorous intercourse coming from the other side of the bricks of my residence hall wall.

I have no issue with consensual sex between two adults. Seriously, high-five to both of them for finding each other. Though when it’s a nightly occurrence taking place about 18 inches from my head at 3 a.m. while I’m trying to sleep, it becomes a nuisance.

Lying awake at night until the two lovers have exhausted themselves leaves me to wonder: how much am I paying to share this wall?

One academic year in a residence hall room without a roommate will run a tab of $7,214 or $801 per month. The rooms vary slightly by building, but are approximately 154 square feet, meaning students are paying about $47 per square foot if they live in a single room.

That’s not chump change when we’re talking about living in what amounts to an 11- foot by 14-foot box.

The feeling of community and closeness that develops between floormates is truly unique, however. Whether it’s listening to your suitemates not wash their hands after using the bathroom or developing an understanding for what’s really going on during that 45-minute shower, the level of intimacy is truly unparalleled.

That’s not to mention the many times I’ve had someone pull my underwear out of the community washer because they lingered three minutes after the wash cycle ended. We may as well be related at this point.

This also calls the cost of dining plans into question.

A silver meal plan costs $4,308 for one academic year of unlimited meals at The Rock Café or The Quad Café and four guest passes. This breaks down to about $16 per day and $5.32 per meal if one eats three meals at a university dining facility daily.

That’s like ordering fast food for every meal seven days a week for over 10 months straight. Admittedly, it’s not as nutritionally damning, but it’s still just as harmful to the wallet as that nightmare scenario.

It is not cheap to live on campus. There are some scholarships to fight the cost, but don’t let the perceived convenience cloud your vision. Living on campus and holding the key to a pair of endless buffets comes with a steep cost, and there are cheaper options.