NTU Halls Are Uncomfortable

In a letter sent out to all hall residents in NTU from the Student Affairs Office:

In early May to end July 2009, we will be carrying out upgrading and refurbishment works in the student rooms and common facilities in Halls 8 to 11, 12 (blks 59 & 60 only) and 13 to 15. This upgrading and refurbishment exercise is necessary to ensure that these Halls will be comfortable but not lavish to accommodate the inaugural Youth Olympic Games athletes, coaches and officials from over 200 countries next year.

So I guess they’re implying that the halls in the current state are not comfortable eh. What I really wish they did were to build more halls to accomodate the influx of the Dragon baby boomers, and the increase in student intake due to the new schools formed in the past few years. The student intake has risen substantially, but the amount of accomodation has remained the same. We are fighting tooth and nail to retain our accomodation, and now we’re giving up half of our rooms to the Youth Olympic Games.

I’m sure this scene is repeated in the other faculties: people sleeping overnight in school on chairs and tables, because they work late into the night, and have to be in school first thing in the morning for lessons. We’re not situated in the most convenient of places, especially for the people staying on the other side of the island. We’re not NUS, nor SMU. It takes 2 hours for me to travel to school, and that’s only because I do not have to take a long bus ride to the MRT, and I do not have to transfer to a different train line. It takes even longer for those living along the NEL. I am thankful that I am currently staying in a hall, but there are others without one and yet take a longer time to travel to school.

A brand new Olympic Village would have been out of the question due to the rising construction costs, but are 2 or 3 more halls of residences too much to ask for? We could use this opportunity as hosts of the YOG to ensure students do not have to live in their school building, rather than ensure that the existing halls are comfortable. I am really proud that our country is hosting the YOG, but we should also take a look at how we can help our own students, while showing the world that we are a world class host.

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