By ALICEN HACKNEY
This year many students arrived on campus during move-in day to find a new challenge. As of the Fall 2017 semester, UMW Residence Life has implemented a new rule involving the setup of lofted beds. As per usual, beds may be lofted at the request of students. However, starting this year students will have to do the lifting themselves.
In previous years, lofted beds could be requested by students before move-in day, or they would be lofted by maintenance in special situations after the start of the fall semester. When beds were requested by the deadline, a maintenance team went through every residence hall lofting these beds prior to move-in. The summer lofting team was comprised mostly of students.
While the pre-lofted beds were convenient for students, there were many issues that made this system problematic. Having a summer team was costly, and because beds were being lofted before students ever saw the room, some students changed their minds, or the wrong beds were lofted.
While the new rules created safety concerns among some students and parents, it is entirely safe for students to loft their own beds. Assistant Dean of Residence Life and Housing Dave Fleming said that these beds are actually marketed to campuses as beds that students can assemble themselves. Fleming has been using these beds through different schools for fifteen years, and UMW is just one of many schools to have this rule.
One of the more obstructive issues surrounding the new bed lofting rules was merely a miscommunication between Residence Life and RAs. On move-in day, many RAs were under the impression that they were not allowed to provide any physical aid to students who were lofting their beds, however, this was not part of the rule. Due to the confusion, many RAs thought they could only provide instructions on how to loft the beds.
“The RAs were actually really helpful and walked us through the entire thing,” said senior Brittany Brown. While Brown said the task was not entirely difficult, it did take the combined physical strength of her family and her roommate’s family to set up the beds.
Considering that this is the first year of the new rules, all has gone fairly smoothly and with very few complaints to Residence Life. The new rule is good for UMW, and ultimately saves both time and money on the university’s part.
Residence Life plans to hold focus group meetings to discuss this issue and others. There will be a variety of topics presented, and all the details for these meetings will be advertised by Residence Life. Along with the focus groups, students are welcomed and encouraged to make appointments with members of Residence Life to discuss any other issues.