The state of suites: No choice but cheap


Luke Ulatowski

The second floor of Friedli is home to some innocent-sounding graffiti.

Luke Ulatowski, Website and Social Media Editor

Students staying on campus this summer might hesitate to call their halls home.

During summer, students remaining on campus are relegated to the Friedli and Hofer suites. Hofer is well known for housing Lakeland’s fraternities and sororities during the school year. Both halls have historically been party destinations on campus, which is a status that may change due to the recent ban on organized parties outside of the 1862 Lounge.

According to junior psychology major Demyia Phipps, the suite life can be summed up with a few details. “I personally don’t like living in the suites because of the small rooms, dirtiness of the bathrooms, bugs and heat,” she said. “I miss living in my own dorm, which is Brotz.”

Standard Friedli and Hofer suites do not come with air conditioning. They also lack kitchens, as cooking appliances are prohibited from the suites for safety reasons. An 11-week summer stay at Friedli costs an individual $825 with a roommate and $1,210 without one. During the school year, the suites are the cheapest options for on-campus housing. Another financial perk for summer residents is a free month at their original hall during May.

Inside each standard suite, there are four bedrooms provided for one or two students each that are intended to only be accessible via key card. However, the latch on senior biochemistry major Akashi Yamada’s bedroom door was ravaged before he moved in, leaving the room permanently accessible.

Luke Ulatowski
Yamada’s door latch.

The state of Yamada’s door has remained the same throughout his entire stay at the suite. Many suite residents tape up their back door’s latch or prop the door open with an object so they can enter the suite without using a key card, which leaves Yamada’s room entirely unprotected.

According to Yamada, the broken bedroom door was not the only issue he found upon his relocation. “When I moved in, the bathroom was kind of green,” he said. “After a while, someone cleaned it up, but it was nasty. One of the bathroom stalls has a broken door, too.”

Luke Ulatowski
A plea inside the stall of a Friedli bathroom.

The roster of students staying on campus this summer includes international students who chose to work on campus, intern off campus or both rather than return home and athletes who remain active in their sport.

Residents of halls including Brotz, Krueger and Muehlmeier were told to move to the Friedli and Hofer suites by June 5th. This process is typical for students staying on campus during summer. Students were made aware of the imminent relocation at the time of application.

Exceptions to the process are atypical, but according to residence life director Jim Bajczyk, they currently exist. “In some years such as this, housing logistics such as the number of students applying and requests for single rooms necessitates use of other spaces on campus,” Bajczyk said. “Based on those logistics and the priority points earned by our students, we have one group staying in South and one staying in Kurtz.”

According to Bajczyk, there are several reasons for the annual relocation of students in summer. “We try to group all our students into one area of campus for security reasons and to maximize the space we have available on campus for conference groups,” he said. “For example, there are some groups we do not have room for and even have to limit camp size in the case of the Christadelphians.”

The annual Great Lakes Christadelphian Bible School took place on campus from July 1 until July 8. As Bajczyk stated, the number of participants was limited by the 420 beds Lakeland was able to provide between the Krueger, Brotz, Muehlmeier, South and Hill halls.

Bajczyk feels that lending the campus and its residence halls to separate groups during summer aids Lakeland as a university. “Our camps and conferences over the summer provide not only revenue to keep room and board prices down, but are also used as a recruitment tool for potential students,” he said.

Students will move back to their old residence halls at the start of the fall semester in August. For Yamada, that is a long way to go.

“I just want to move back to Brotz as fast as possible,” Yamada said.