North Texas Daily

Students unsatisfied by residence hall kitchenettes

Students unsatisfied by residence hall kitchenettes

November 25
12:18 2015

Jynn Schubert | Staff Writer

@JynnWasHere

Of the 13 residence halls on campus, 12 do not have community stoves or ovens. And students say that’s not cutting it, because the university advertises full kitchenettes in the dorms for public use.

The fire marshal last spring determined the residence halls’ ventilation systems were not up to code, so the stoves and ovens had to be removed. Construction crews building Rawlins Hall, established to house honors students, were able to conform to those standards, affording the residents there the luxuries of both an oven and a stove.

Crumley Hall, built in 1961, is one of UNT’s older residence halls. With only 266 rooms, it’s also one of the smallest, cultivating a closely-knit community for the students who live there.

The hall has been home to all students of the engineering REAL community since 2014, after serving as an all-girls dormitory before. With so many like-minded individuals in one place, it’s hard not to strike up friendships with neighbors.

“When Fallout 4 came out, I remember walking into a stranger’s room with several other random people to watch some guy play,” Wil Quinn, a computer engineering freshman living in Crumley, said. “That’s the sort of understanding we have of each other. No one is really hostile.”

The thriving community, however, seems to be the only thing keeping residents happy.

“The general condition of Crumley itself is somewhat shameful,” Quinn said. “We don’t even have a stove. It’s an odd combination to have a lame building with a really cool community.”

Chemistry major Carolyn Sandoval had plans to bake a cake when she discovered Crumley did not have an oven.

“I was really disappointed,” Sandoval said. “Then later on in the day I realized how much food I liked that required an oven. It’s really inconvenient.”

James Fairchild, associate director for the Department of Housing & Residence Life, said a kitchenette only guarantees counter space for cooking and not that students can actually cook anything. Until recently, the Crumley kitchenette area lacked even a microwave until hall director Yolanda Armstrong bought one herself.

“That’s not a kitchen, it’s a counter space with a microwave,” computer engineering freshman and Crumley resident Kaytlin Lafleur said. “And that’s when our microwave isn’t broken.”

Crumley residents are not the only ones upset with the kitchen status. Jax Saunders, a freshman living in Bruce Hall, said he wants more from the university.

“It’s just a massive pain in the butt,” Saunders said. “If you want to do any sort of cooking you get to go downstairs and use the communal microwave, which is generally disgusting.”

The university has no current plans to remedy the situation, with the approximate cost to renovate and place stoves in the rest of the residence halls that also meet fire code totaling at around $250,000.

“West Hall will also have a public stove soon,” Fairchild said. “They’ve undergone a renovation of their public space and their kitchen area there that would allow for the same kind of corrective adjustments to be made. It’s still in the process of getting approval from the fire marshall for use before it can be turned on.”

But the Crumley community makes up for the cosmetic and functional deficiencies, according to residents.

“Because most of us are the geeky engineering types, we have a lot in common, so it’s very easy to make friend,” computer engineering resident Grant Yarbrough said. “All I have to do is prop my door open and throw on some Smashbros, and suddenly I have three or four new friends.”

Featured Image: Administrators removed the oven in Crumley Hall’s kitchen area for safety concerns. Haley Yates | Staff Photographer

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