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17 beds remain open at Hanszen

Courtesy Hanszen College

By Savannah Kuchar     4/2/19 11:49pm

Room draw at Hanszen College ended with 17 open beds and not one student involuntarily kicked off campus.

Nikhita Gangla is the chief justice at Hanszen, where her duties include running room draw. She said that she thinks the quality of Hanszen rooms are to blame for all of the openings.

According to Gangla, if the rooms stay unoccupied by current students, the beds will either go to people from other colleges or to extra new students. Gangla said that neither option is ideal.

“People from other colleges, for very obvious reasons, dilute the culture of Hanszen, and you don’t really want too much of that happening,” Gangla said. “For new students, you think about the logistical nightmares that it brings on to the O-Week coords for one. And then also as a CJ, that’s scary to think about, 17 extra freshmen.”

Gangla said that the result of this room draw is evidence of the need for a new Hanszen building as soon as possible. 

“At this point in time, all we can do is beg people to stay on campus,” Gangla said. “But people aren’t going to respond to you begging to them because they knew that the rooms at Hanszen aren’t what they wanted.”

Students living at Hanszen have the option of a room in either Old Section or New Section. According to Gangla, students do not want to stay in Old Section because of the communal bathrooms.

“The only rooms without big problems right now are the doubles in Old Section, though no one wants to live in a double in Old Section with the communal bathroom the moment they’re beyond freshman, sophomore year,” Gangla said. 

Gangla said that even though New Section offers private bathrooms, these rooms have their own problems that discourage students from living there.

“New Section has its own host of problems,” Gangla said. “The reason why those suites aren’t desirable either, even though the set-up is a little bit better, is because those rooms just [have] so many things wrong with them. The plumbing, the water, the bugs, the noise, it’s just a whole mess. Nothing works there.  I’ve personally never lived in New Section, but people who live there hate it.”

Bharathi Selvan, a junior at Hanszen, said she lived in New Section during her first two years at Rice and that the problems with the rooms led to her moving off campus this and next year.  

“Freshman year, I had a huge leak in my room and I had to move [to another room in Hanszen], and it was a really scary process just not knowing what was inside the walls,” Selvan said. “Then even sophomore year, I lived in New Section again and there was still a lot of mold that was making me have a postnasal drip every day. It was just not worth paying more than I needed to for something that made me sick.”

According to Gangla, there is a double reserved for athletes, three quads and a triple all still unoccupied. 

“We’re looking to fill 14 [beds] right now,” Gangla, a sophomore, said. “We’re trying to get people in the quads and the triple. The athlete room is probably just going to go to more freshman next year and that’s not a big deal.”

On March 23, two days after Hanszen room draw concluded, Gangla sent an email notifying the college about the available rooms and asking people currently moving off campus to consider staying on to fill these beds. But Gangla said that so far this has not led to any claimed rooms.

“I had people reach out to me about the triple,” Gangla said.  “Then they asked what the set-up was, and I said, ‘It’s one big room’ and they were like ‘Oh never mind, we don’t want to live there anymore.’”

Felix Desimoni, a freshman at Hanszen, said that he and his roommates chose to move off campus because of the quality of the rooms available to them at Hanszen.

“We chose because [of] the quality of life we get here versus the price we pay,” Desimoni said. “It was so much greater to go off campus.” 

Rice Housing & Dining responded to this news by saying that they do not oversee these vacancies.

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