Stu­dents look to move out of the dorms. Courtesy | Hillsdale

The $3 million, 11-month ren­o­vation of the Dow Campbell A & B lecture hall con­cluded last month. The makeover looks great. This will be a great space for events, meals, and more.

Now Olds Res­i­dence deserves attention. Since its con­struction 61 years ago, the dorm that hun­dreds of freshmen women cycle through each year, has undergone no major ren­o­va­tions. Two minor ones hap­pened in 2014 and 2020 — to expand the kitchen and add fans to a building that still lacks air con­di­tioning. Many freshmen women choose Olds because it encourages  tight-knit bonds between res­i­dents. The com­munity-style bath­rooms and shared dis­comfort unite res­i­dents against the common enemy of no air-con­di­tioning in the summer and uncon­trol­lable heat in the winter. 

During home­coming weekend, an alumna from the 1980s poked her head in the bathroom as I was getting ready and exclaimed, “This looks exactly like it did when I lived here!” 

Many res­i­dents support a full bull­dozing of Olds. But that doesn’t mean the layout should change. I’ve developed friend­ships with girls I always see in the bathroom and catch up reg­u­larly with girls from other halls in the lounges and lobby. I can even talk to girls on the floor below me through the gap between the hallways and exterior wall. 

A good first step to improving Olds would be removing the bathtubs — which have become storage for cleaning sup­plies — for a third shower in each hall. Adding more washers and dryers would also elim­inate the intense foot race to the laundry room and prevent passive aggressive mes­sages on laundry room whiteboards.

However, college res­i­dences shouldn’t be so com­fortable that stu­dents lose sight of what they are working toward in the future. There should be some level of dis­comfort and incon­ve­nience for res­i­dents to joke about and bond over. 

And when ren­o­va­tions begin, the res­i­dents of Olds will kindly vol­unteer to tem­porarily stay in the Dow Hotel, just down the hall from Dow Campbell A & B.