Mixing fact and fantasy is disservice to Ondine’s residents

Dear Editor,

I read Travis Willmore’s opinion piece, “Welcome to Portland State’s Heartbreak Hotel” (Nov 1). He made several negative inferences about the Ondine living environment. I’ve lived here for nearly four years, since August I have worked as a resident manager, but my opinion comes from my experience as a resident, first, and I think things are better here than he describes them, and so do several other residents. I also believe that mixing fictitious stories of missing bodies and riots with certain facts does readers a disservice: Opinion piece or not, writers should be clear about what’s a fact and what isn’t.

I did some interviews with residents to see what their opinions are. These are recounted for you here:

Kristen and Spicer from Freshman Experience were interviewed separately. Both said the dorm-style living in Ondine is a good compromise between space and convenience. Both also said the family atmosphere enriches their experience. Spicer does want to see Aramark provide healthier food at dinner.

Out of State Program (OSP) residents Mariana, Jim and Chelsey, told of their love for the friendly assistance they get from Ryan, the OSP Resident Manager. Mariana likes how CHNW “brings new students together” in the roommate allocation. Their only complaint: no overhead lighting in the rooms.

Residents Alesha and Sara individually shared perspectives on the building. There is one thing that for them makes Ondine a special place different from other dormitories: The community. Alesha feels safe having so many people of different ages around all the time. Sara says other building residents respect her, and that “I can tell I’m at a different point” than other residents, but “even younger students … appreciate that I’m here doing the work.” She notes, this is “exactly what I needed to make connections with students who are pursuing the same goals.”

All the residents mentioned how convenient the location was to campus. And that they had no major concerns to voice. If we consider these statements with the fact that the building has had 100 percent occupancy for the past year according to Tomas Zamudio, Building Manager, then I would suggest that the building and its community deserves more credit than Travis has given.

I do agree with Travis this point: the Pepsi vending machines are terrible. They regularly are empty in several bins and many have broken bill acceptors. But PSU has the contract with Pepsi, not College Housing, so if PSU wants good working machines on campus, then the administration will have to take it up with Pepsi themselves. That’s the only way to rid ourselves of the slot machines.