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UMass Boston gets its first dorm

The Dorchester Reporter takes us on a tour of the 1,000-bed dorm, and reports we could get news this fall of what sort of development to expect on the old Bayside Expo site the university owns.

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500-person dining hall on the first floor of the new residence hall will serve not only the students

Those who live on campus won't have to slum it with the commuters in the regular cafeteria.

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Why shouldn't students be able to have breakfast where they live instead of walking a long distance to the cafeteria? And why shouldn't they be able to get meals there on weekends?

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for dorms to have dining halls in, or adjacent to, the residence building itself. I'd suggest visiting a few campuses to see this.

And as in those other examples, any students, including commuters, are welcome to acquire food in this particular dining hall. It isn't exclusive to dorm residents.

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Not at Harvard, the university with the best Interhouse restrictions on earth.

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Work to make your life more special rather than pissing on other people and playing little BUT I'M BETTER THAN THEM THEY CAN'T HAVE THAT bullshit games.

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Which is that it is, or was, a point of pride for many that UMB _didn't_ have dorms like other schools. The logic was that creating dorms would change the school's identity (certainly true), do so in a negative way (matter of opinion) and that it would create two separate classes of students: Those who live there and those who don't (again, true). And they'd attract the kind of student who wants to live on campus (makes sense) and would not otherwise consider UMB, and that having this kind of student was itself a negative (matter of opinion).

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Not a lot of commuters want to get to school early just to eat breakfast. I know I didn't (Class of 1995).

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I've been known to eat breakfast at work every once in a while. If you've got a real early class and then a break, why not sleep a little more, have a snack, go to class, and then eat your real breakfast after class?

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is 100 years behind Kansas and South Carolina. (and Texas, and Georgia, and Michigan, and . . )

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You want dorms, go to UMass Amherst ("The Commonwealth's Flagship Campus" say all the signs, to let you know you've arrived on campus, just in case the sudden change from the little village streets of Amherst and the quaint Amherst College campus to skyscrapers and broad avenues and a big basketball arena wasn't enough to clue you in), or UMass Lowell or UMass Dartmouth. UMass Boston was originally intended to serve an urban community, where the students might be older, already with jobs and maybe even families. So becoming a residential campus is a big deal for UMass Boston, but not the UMass system as a whole.

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UMass is one of the best public university programs in the United States. UMB made some mistakes, but they can still correct them. Hopefully whatever Assembly Row-esque lifestyle center that's built on the old Bayside complex pays the bills for the UMB. They need to demolish their entire Harbor Campus and acquire the newer yet struggling EMK and JFK facilities for the betterment of their students. Right now, Columbia Pt is a mess of plane flyovers and red ink. However, UMB can still turn things around.

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UM Boston and the Commonwealth do not have unlimited wealth. Their athletic complex, which is part of the Harbor Campus, is ok and should remain. But the Harbor Campus science center, library, and elevated plazas? Yes. Knock-em down ASAP. They're the worst structures in all of Boston. They make the Alewife Garage look downright pleasant.

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And I'm very happy for them!

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Great! That takes pressure off of the unofficial dorms behind BC High and those taking up space at Harbor Point, thus it takes pressure off of the general Dorchester housing market, which would be even tighter if not for this.

As far as somehow the concept that UMass is making a leap to a snobatorium because it will now have dorms, my wife's friend eldest daughter: the daughter of a single mother with 3 very smart children who happen to live in an affordable housing, gets to be one of the first people to move in here. She got a full ride because she did the work and earned it.

UMass is still a school for a working and lower middle class person who wants to achieve. Don't ever stop believing that.

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I was the traditional UMB student. First in my extended family with a 4 year degree, working to pay my own tuition (and some Pells/loans), and had to take semesters off to save up for tuition-took me 6 years. As a neighbor, I sat in on many a meeting about the advent of dorms at UMB and its effects on housing, and traditional students. My opinion is there is now an appealing draw to full boat$ out of state students at the expense of commuter, later in life, hand up students.

Applicants have always known it was a commuter school and those who attended were OK with that. Now that there are dorms for first year only students, where do they go in the remaining years (if they stay)? Similar to induced demand on roadways, this is induced demand for housing. My point is once you open the pandora's box of dorms, this is not going to solve housing issues; rather the opposite.

If I'm a commuter student with a need for a particular class to graduate and there is only one seat left in the class, and there is a full boat$ student who wants the class, who gets priority? I suspect money talks.

I'm sure this will be a good thing for UMB, but at what cost the paucity of housing and traditional students.

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This is a good move. However, it only exacerbates the issues of the campus. Great new buildings next to crumbling 70's era husks. New buildings that face Downtown Boston and shun Dorchester. Old buildings that face Dorchester and shun Downtown Boston.

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New buildings that face Downtown Boston and shun Dorchester. Old buildings that face Dorchester and shun Downtown Boston.

The new (relatively) student center faces Quincy, although specifically it faces Dorchester Bay. This new building faces B.C.High and what was once the Columbia Point projects. The original campus buildings kind of faced inwards if you ask me.

That said, my fear is that UMB is going the way of Northeastern. Yes, the bells and whistles are great, but the ideals from the beginning of the institution, I fear, will be tarnished.

(Not an alum, but I did take classes there, have relatives graduate from there, and spent 4 of my teenage years in the shadow of the school with some trips to Healey Library during that time.)

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Recognize the era when the Harbor Campus was built. The main facade of the campus faces Morrissey.

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I can say again that the student center faces Quincy.

As for Wheatley, McCormack, Quinn, Healey, and "Science," their orientation is towards the plaza- facing inwards. Yes, the campus is viewable from Morrissey Blvd, but that is a side effect. It was an island campus at least until recently.

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I enjoyed some commuter courses there on the way to my degrees but seriously doubt UMB can handle 1000 kids in a dorm and the totally different crowd, as mentioned above, that comes back to college long after high school. Mayor Tom Menino, was a graduate, like many others, late in life. It will no longer be a commuter college as intended.

A few years back I drove a friend to the campus as she was pursuing her nursing degree. Despite excellent grades and political contacts, she was unable to get the necessary nursing classes because one needed to "camp out" hours or days before enrollment opened. She wound up with a degree she didn't want and took a Masters in nursing elsewhere. UMB can't handle it, sadly. Disaster and now they will add to it?

Also wondering if the UMass campus police will be doubled or tripled for dorm calls? The current UMB Police can't handle it, Southie State Police barracks next door is running one trooper on the desk and 2-3 on the road (Expressway, beaches, parkways, state buildings), can't handle it, Boston PD won't touch it. Any word on how that will be handled? Some of the worst recent riots in the state were at the UMass Amherst dorms where UMass Police were overwhelmed. Welcome all rioters to Dorchester for World Series/Superbowl. Should be fun to watch.

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