Student Dissatisfaction with Res Life

Guest Contributor

Bridgewater, Va.- College Residence halls are supposed to be a safe, relaxing haven for students to return to after a stressful day. As such, if a student feels uncomfortable or insecure in their dorms, this could lead to poor academic performance.

For this reason, our college should be committed to ensuring a functioning and effective residential department. 

However, some students have not been satisfied with our Res Life’s performance. I decided to investigate this matter and try to bring change. 

My first point of action was to verify my observation with student feedback in the form of a survey titled “Res Life Satisfaction.” I ensured that only people with the domain “” could submit responses and that the responses would be anonymous. 

I attempted to make this survey as impartial as possible by framing the questions in an unbiased manner and putting fliers and posters around campus to collect as many responses as I could from the period of March 28 to April 14, 2022. There were 139 responses, which comprises 10% of our student body.

There was a mixture of open-ended and close-ended questions on the survey. 

The survey results affirmed my observations. The majority, 75.5% of survey takers, said that their housing experience at BC was negative. 

More than two-thirds (69.1%) answered that they faced difficulties in receiving support for their housing concerns. When asked to describe their interactions with Res Life in an open-ended question, some survey responders described their interactions as stressful and negative. 

Only 19% of responders claimed that their interactions were positive. This data is quite alarming and deters from our mission as a college to provide a safe space for students to excel academically and socially.

“It does not surprise me because anytime I talked with anyone about Res Life, it’s always been something negative.” said senior Shifa Tewari. 

Students also submitted written answers providing insight into their experiences. Reponses to open-ended questions expressed anger and frustration with Res Life, including how they felt issues were over-complexified. Other students stated that Res Life’s email communication could be rude and dismissive.

The professionalism was extremely one-sided and responses from [non-student Res Life staff] would often take a few emails or reminders if you saw them in person,” said senior and former RA Jen Chan.

Students also shared suggestions for improving Res Life. In the open-ended response question, some students stated that Res Life staff should improve how they deal with student problems. 

The most common feedback on the survey was wanting better communication, whether through email or in-person meetings. Students also shared the need for a better system and interface for housing selection. 

Academics are not the sole influencers of a student’s life. We, as a student body, should be able to voice our thoughts and enhance non-academic departments to encourage a safe and welcoming space for our current and future Bridgewater students. 

I hope that this survey and the information contained in it can open a dialogue and bring change.

Author Anton Kopti is a senior computer science and math major.