Bailey Hall’s Unwilling Residents Deserve a Voice

Ellie Poppler

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When coming to the University of Minnesota as a freshman, I was anxiously awaiting my dorm assignment. Would I end up in 17th? Superblock? When asked by friends and family where I wanted to end up, I would reply with the same answer, that I didn’t care and no matter what happened, I would enjoy and make the best of it. When I got the email with my dorm assignment for the school year, I read the words Bailey Hall and was confused as to where this was located because I had never heard of it before. I immediately looked up a ranked list of University of Minnesota dorms, and after scrolling for a long time I reached the very bottom of the list. I’m serious when I say that Bailey Hall was ranked the absolute lowest out of every dorm offered by the University of Minnesota. It was on this website where I read the words “St. Paul Campus” and instantly felt cheated.  I wasn’t aware that there was one dorm that was located off East Bank, and especially not on the St. Paul campus, which is at least a  fifteen minute car ride away from the main campus. 

Living here completely isolates you from the entire college experience. Most people that live here chose to live here, based on their major, interests, or classes that they are taking that are on the St. Paul Campus. Most of my friends and people that I have met at the University of Minnesota have never set foot on the St. Paul campus, which would be the same case for me if I didn’t live here. Every time I want to see anybody, have any commitments, have classes, or want to be on the main campus, I need to leave at least thirty minutes in advance if I want to make it close to on time. There are university-operated buses called the “Campus Connector” which I spend a good chunk of my day sitting on going from stop to stop.  Sometimes the bus doesn’t end up coming on time, or it stops for various reasons, and I still end up being late despite my planning ahead. Coming back here at night is the very worst though. I find myself running through the streets sometimes just trying to make it to the bus, since they are limited after a certain time and only come every so often. I’ve often missed the bus, leaving me alone on the street in the darkness and cold, just sitting vulnerably waiting for the next bus to show up. On game days and certain times during the weekends the bus schedule changes and they don’t go to the stops that are marked. I still have yet to figure out why this happens or where they do end up going, and when I run into this problem I begin calling different sources trying to figure it out, but no one seems to truly have an answer. Every time I run into this problem I waste about an hour walking alone to different bus stops, and eventually end up calling an Uber and using about ten dollars of my own money just to get home. 

Bailey Hall should not be a place that students get unwillingly placed to live in at the University of Minnesota. It completely puts a damper on the entire college experience, wastes money and lots of time, and overall leaves many students in isolation. I have talked to many people here that have run into the same problems as me and did not choose to go to the University of Minnesota just to live on the St. Paul campus, which isn’t even shown during the tours of the school. When I made my decision to attend the University of Minnesota, I did so based on what I saw during the tour, which was not the St. Paul campus, and certainly not Bailey Hall.