Following the recent mandatory lockdown for 18 to 22-year-olds, various freshmen have decided to leave their dorms in order to escape dorm life. While the school and county restrictions on college-aged adults have aided in slowing the spread of COVID-19, it also has shut down resources available to freshmen in previous years.
Freshman Caleb Sake recently moved out of his Hallet Hall dorm and is now living in the Hive Apartments near campus.
“Usually, I feel like you get a lot of perks from living in the dorms such as RAPs and meeting people and all that stuff. This year, we didn’t have any of that,” Sake said. “It felt like the only things you got out of living in the dorms were the negative things like paying $1400 per month which is about $400 more than I’m spending living in my apartment right now.”
This opinion is not limited to Sake. There more freshmen who have moved out of the dorms this year compared to prior years. According to the Assistant Director for Community Operations for CU Boulder Corey Friend, 692 freshmen have moved out of on-campus housing as of Oct. 16. At this time last year, 196 students had moved out.
Some students have been impressed with the school’s stopping of the COVID spread. Kate Indart is a freshman who previously living in Cheyenne Arapaho Hall and cites more than just COVID-19 as her reason for leaving the dorms. Indart is now living in her house in Reno, Nevada.
“I honestly think that the school has handled it really well. The reason that I left had nothing to do with the way the school was handling it. I think that they’re doing a really good job and, obviously, they have a lot of pressure on them right now so I think they’re doing a good job at keeping everyone safe,” Indart said.
Sake echoed this claim, but he feels that the school hasn’t done the best job at providing for the mental health of freshmen.
“I think they’ve done a good job at stopping the spread, but that’s only one part of it. The other part of health that has to do with this virus is the mental aspect,” Sake said. “They don’t really seem to care that freshmen have come from all over the country not knowing anyone and they’ve shut down pretty much all the resources that we have to make friends.”
For Indart, COVID wasn’t the sole reason for leaving, it was a major factor in her decision. Indart is an avid mountain biker who believes that the dorms didn’t provide her with an environment to be successful in her sport.
“Outside of school, my biggest priority is training for mountain biking and it was really hard, given the circumstances of COVID, to train and feel confident about my training. So basically I just moved spots so that I could have a better environment to make the most out of my training,” Indart said.
Indart found that there are improvements that could be made in the midst of this pandemic to help students like herself manage dorm life.
“I think the food can definitely be improved just to more options and healthier options. I think if they were to advertise living in apartments on-campus for first-year students, that would definitely be helpful for the current situation with COVID,” Indart said.
Mr. Friend also noted that COVID was one of a multitude of factors in the increased number of students moving away from the dorms.
“Students apply for exemptions to the on-campus living requirement for a number of reasons. The pandemic has certainly had an impact,” Mr. Friend said.
While Indart and Sake have decided to continue their studies elsewhere, 372 freshmen have chosen to withdraw from their education after moving out.
“When students decide to leave CU Boulder, it has an impact on our community. We are always disappointed to see a Buff leave as they are a valued member of the university,” Mr. Friend said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Harrison Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org