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Op-ed: NIACC dorms like jail cells (by Peter Children)

There is a story in the local paper today focusing on NIACC’s needs, part of which is student housing. I can relate to that…not that I attended school there because I did not, however I had occasion to visit those dorms several times about 7 or 8 years ago….I think; time flies.

There was a young girl from Yugoslavia who was attending the college at that time and I was helping her with whatever I could. Now to the issue at hand, the dorm rooms. Up to today I have never been inside a jail cell, but when I think of what one could be like, I immediatly think of the room Mimi stayed in. It was painted (dark) concrete block, very little lite coming into the room. It was quite small, narrow in size with steel doors.  Now if you were not depressed before you moved into that space you sure in the hell would be after a few days and nights, the only thing missing was a slot in the door to pass food through.

The hallways were dank, with what was alledgly “students” roaming the corridors…but it could have been anyone at anytime of the day or night, hence the steel doors, at least I imagine that was the purpose of installing a very thick door covered in metal with little thought as to decor but more emphise on security itself. I later found out there were numerous calls to the police originating from that complex.  When you consider that there were young people from all over jammed into rooms from which subconsciously they were trying to escape, tensions could run high.

I think that when those dorms were originally built, the main purpose was to see how many students could be housed at the least cost; at that level I am quite certain they were successful.  I did mention the atmosphere of those rooms to the college officials who assured me they were working on revisions, but without checking I would fall back on the old adage of, “After all was said and done, more was probably said than done.”  Just re-painting the rooms with brighter colors would do wonders….also issuing all the girls a complimentary can of mace would be a nice gesture as well.

Peter Children

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