SNHU’s newest residence hall, Monadnock, opened its doors for the new year to students eager to live in the new space.
The newest building on the east side of campus features apartment style living, with laundry on every floor, a small gym, a multipurpose room and a game room.
“Every student I have talked to about Monadnock has been extremely excited,” said Lorilee Mayberry, a senior and Monadnock Resident Assistant (RA)“All of my residents seem very happy with the look and feel of their apartments, and I know I personally am also very happy with my apartment. I also have heard a lot of positive feedback about the laundry rooms, gym and game room.”
Although the building as a whole is a desired place to be on campus, there are a few aspects that students and RA’s in other buildings have taken issue with.
One of these is the lack of bulletin boards in Monadnock, pointed out by an RA living in another building.
“As an RA, doing bulletin boards every month that are fun and informational can get very tedious,” said Mayberry. In most upperclassmen areas, the bulletin boards are either not even looked at or often destroyed. However, the corked walls are an amazing design feature because they allow us to post all fliers and advertisements without having to go through roles and roles [sic] of tape. They can also be used in some programs or games, so they are super helpful.”
Not placing bulletin boards in hallways was an intentional decision.
“It’s a little bit of a social experiment,” said Shannon Brown, Director of Residence Life. “We have two options, one is the cork board outside of each apartment, and the cool thing about that cork is that it’s self-healing, so it won’t look sloppy for the next year. In the knuckle, the middle part of the building, the big cork wall is what we intended to be the posting area, so that we don’t have things taped and hung up all over the hallways. If RA’s or residents say they miss having bulletin boards, we’ll install bulletin boards on the corridor. We just are trying to see if there are different ways of doing things.”
A common complaint amongst students living in Monadnock is that the shades throughout the building were transparent enough to see through.
“[The company didn’t provid[e]the shades that we anticipated,” Brown said. “We are working with the architect and the building company to replace them. The construction team has used these particular blinds before and they have not performed this way, so they were surprised.”
The new shades are in the process of being tested, and Residence Director (RD) Nicole Noons will notify residents as to when they will be installed.
The single biggest complaint from students regarding Monadnock has been the lack of air conditioning within individual apartments.
Brown said, “When we assessed what we’d be using the building for, we decided it just wasn’t worth the added cost for the students. We chose to air condition the middle of the building so that students would have a place to go to. We did not choose to only air condition the middle of the building as a fun social experiment, as you may have heard.”
Residents have turned to opening their windows for air-flow, but are struggling with the fact that they cannot open them more than a few inches.
“The windows only open as far as they do for safety. We wish they would open more, but in terms of liability, college campuses need to do things that some other places don’t,” said Brown.
Residents may have noticed that the door to the gym has been propped open. If anything is not working properly, it is asked that students notify RD Nicole Noons as soon as possible to get the issue fixed.
“We do know that card access to the gym doesn’t work, so the door has been propped. We are working on that. If Nicole [Noons, Residence Director] hears about anything that doesn’t work, she’ll submit a work order to get it fixed. For any student, that’s the most reliable and efficient way to get something fixed,” said Brown.
Parking has become an ongoing issue on campus. With more residents than last year, there has been a shortage of parking available.
“We need more parking around campus in general,” Brown continued. “Public safety is working tirelessly to figure it out. Because our campus is growing so quickly and the number or resident students is increasing yearly, they need to come up with a solution that will serve the campus well, long term. They are working with the towns of Manchester and Hooksett to get permits, and as soon as that happens they’ll start working on adding more parking.”
Residents wishing there was more parking close to the front of the building are out of luck, as the pick-up/drop off area with handicap parking will likely not be turned into residence parking.
“We are committed to assessing it, and if those spots aren’t being used, we will kind of go back, but it may mean we will add more drop off/pick-up spots. I have not heard that those spaces would change to resident parking,” said Brown.
With regards to not having trash rooms within the building like other residence halls on campus, Brown stated that it was a decision made by facilities, and what they believed their staff could handle. It also gives upperclassmen more responsibility and a sense of truly living on their own.
“Thinking about students getting close to graduating and what life potentially will be like outside, it’s a little bit more real-life,” said Brown.
The multipurpose room is a highlight of Monadnock. The room is used for many different purposes and is desired by many faculty on campus.
“We have several instructors and faculty that are gobbling up the multipurpose room to teach their classes in. They’ve really liked having classes in a residence hall,” Brown said. “The blending of living and learning is something that’s really appealing to me, and I’m psyched that faculty loves the space.”
While Monadnock has certain aspects that residents may not currently consider ideal, most of the issues are being fixed within the near future.