UNC Asheville students say living on campus leads to unnecessary hardships due to overwhelming policies.
“It just felt kind of intrusive and I feel like they sort of treat you like you’re younger than you actually are at UNC Asheville,” Derek Whisnant said, a senior graduating this spring.
A large portion of students who attend UNCA choose to live off campus for several reasons. Whisnant said he made his decision to leave campus life back in his sophomore year.
Whisnant said many students complain about the food provided in the dining hall and the strict policies imposed on students.
“I wanted something actually worth my money because I felt it wasn’t worth my money to be in Overlook Hall and honestly the food at Brown was absolutely god-awful my sophomore year, and I sort of felt an extreme disdain every time I went in there knowing I’m spending $9 on a meal, and then you end up eating cereal and a bagel. I eat better here and spend half the amount of money,” Whisnant said.
Students say it’s frustrating having to show resident assistants identification from one’s student identification card and this rule starts at 8 p.m. every night.
“It felt like a checkpoint having to do that each time you go in or out. I thought it was frustrating,” Whisnant said.
The heavy police presence on campus is another reason students want to leave.
“I got harassed my freshman year after a fire drill. They came past my door as I was coming back in. I was trying to close the door and go to bed; it was late. They kind of drug me over the coal for like twenty minutes because they wanted to search my room for no good reason,” Whisnant said.
Students say some of the experiences from being on campus have soured many from living on campus.Described as having a dorm room in high school, many want to have more freedom.
“Like I said my parents are less strict, and I didn’t come to college for less freedom,” Whisnant said.
Corbin Wildcat, a senior at UNCA, said there were a lot of reasons that led to his decision to move away from campus.
“One was the price, the second is definitely privacy, having a CD (community director) and RA (residence assistant) checking up on you can get annoying, so that’s some of the reasons,” he said.
For someone that likes to cook, Wildcat said he had the issue on campus with having to share the community kitchen and another factor that made him skew away from living on campus as well.
“I like to cook a lot so having my own kitchen was a big thing, especially since most times there would be someone already cooking and I would have to wait a long time,” Wildcat said.
After two years of living on campus, Wildcat described his experience living in Founders Hall and then moving into the Woods residence.
“I think it was mostly the fact that I kinda felt like it was hand-holdy, each year was like a step forward to get my own apartment, so like I upgraded every single year I guess,” Wildcat said.
Even though the Woods was set up more like an apartment, Wildcat said he could afford something better for his money by living off campus.
“I could be paying way less for an apartment and it has more accommodations then the woods. I’m getting to live there longer, I don’t get kicked out during Christmas break, or Thanksgiving break, my stuff gets to stay, I stay and I have my cat here too. That was my thought,” Wildcat said.
Chandler Jumper, a junior at UNCA majoring in management, said his experience while on campus was nerve racking.
“Overall, living on campus was expensive. I figured I was paying so much just to be in a suite with five roommates and that was difficult to deal with while paying so much it just made sense that I move out and get my own privacy,” Jumper said.
He explained that while having his own apartment, he can now invite friends and family and not have to be worried.
“I just felt that they were always breathing down my neck when I lived in the Woods Hall,” Jumper said.
Now with the pandemic, Jumper can’t even imagine living on campus at all.
“I think it has ruined the freshmen experience of being on campus even more now because I know some people who have dropped out because they thought that it would be different here,” Jumper said.
He also compared his first year as a chance to meet new people and it being the main point of being on campus.
“COVID has ruined that for incoming students and the experience I had will never compare because of new restrictions,” Jumper said.