Students ask: ‘Can you spare a square?’

The College will no longer be providing toilet paper to dormitories with private bathrooms, and hall offices will no longer give out trash bags for garbage cans. The change was announced by the office of Residential and Community Development (ORCD) in its annual mailing to students about housing assignments, and comes as the College attempts to cope with $8 million in cuts due to Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s budget.

Though a seemingly small gesture, the cuts amount to a 12 to 15 percent savings for the Building Services operating budget, according to Sean Stallings, associate director of ORCD. According to Stallings, the decision to make the cuts was reached at the end of the Spring semester in preparation for the 2007 fiscal year, which began July 1. The decision was made jointly between ORCD and Building Services.

The change will not affect residence halls with public bathrooms, namely Travers, Wolfe, Allen, Brewster, Ely, Centennial and Norsworthy. In these dorms, the toilet paper will be replaced by Building Services as it was in the past. Students in all three townhouse complexes, Eickhoff, New Residence, Decker and Cromwell halls, however, will have to buy their own toilet paper.

Toilet paper and trash bags are available at the C-Store and the bookstore for students unable to get off campus.

Another dorm staple, light bulbs, will be unaffected by the cuts, Stalling said. Light bulbs should currently be in room lamps, and ORCD will attempt to distribute light bulbs as required throughout the year.

“The budget cuts are perhaps more significant than many realize and the College has (made) and continues to make every effort to minimize what costs are passed on to the students,” Stallings said in an e-mail. “Unfortunately, this cannot occur in every aspect of operations.”

Stallings said the shift will be hard on students who weren’t anticipating it, but will help them learn about personal responsibility.

“I believe this will initially be a challenge for those that were not anticipating a change such as this,” Stallings said. “However, this change will encourage students to assume increased responsibility for managing their personal needs. Learning to include these types of personal needs into your budget will prepare students for the time when they are in their own apartments/homes and need to provide all of their personal items.”

Student reaction was mixed.

“If it’s going to save money, it’s good,” Juan Carlos Bayas, junior finance major, said. “Maybe they won’t have to raise tuition so much.”

“They could have cut something else out and given us toilet paper,” Matt Santos, senior elementary education major, said.