Freshman and sophomore housing at Villanova desperately needs an overhaul. The Main Campus dorms are all over 50 years old, Stanford and Good Counsel Halls are both over 35 years old and the others are fast approaching those ages.

The wear and tear of hundreds of college students in these dorms each year has not been sufficiently remedied. The furniture in the lounges and rooms, the carpet in the hallways and the fixtures in the bathrooms desperately need to be replaced. Neither Austin Hall nor St. Rita’s Hall has a laundry room.

The cleanliness of these dorms is also questionable. Freshmen, in addition to dealing with a roommate for the first time, often get to share their rooms with mice and insects during their first year.

These residence halls have not seen major renovation efforts since their initial constructions. Take a look at the photograph in Connelly Center of students enjoying themselves in Sullivan Hall in 1958 and you not will see much of a difference in the rooms.

There are not even enough of these substandard dorms to accommodate all freshmen and sophomores. No construction for underclassman housing has occurred since the Katharine and McGuire complexes were built over 20 years ago. If students want to enjoy new, clean, adequate housing on campus, they must wait two years for West Campus apartments – if they are lucky enough in the housing lottery.

Freshmen and sophomores have no opportunity whatsoever to cook their own food since none of the dorms include kitchens.

Villanova students visiting friends at other universities are usually stunned to see the quality of the dorms. Schools that cost less than Villanova have dorms that are bigger, newer, cleaner or even provide maid service.

Comparing our residence halls to those of other schools of Villanova’s price tag and caliber further emphasizes the need for change: Forty-five thousand dollars per year should cover basic living amenities such as air conditioning and a washing machine.

These facts are appalling. This school is in the process of building a multi-million-dollar law school when the undergraduate residence halls are infested with mice every winter.

A multi-million dollar athletic facility opens today, but most dorms on Main Campus lack air conditioning. If one person can raise $20 million in less than 5 years, a university should be able to finance housing renovations. The structure of the new nursing school is almost complete, yet we must house extra freshmen and all transfer students at Rosemont College because there are no dorms for them at their own school.

Amid the excitement of the new facilities under construction on campus, the University must not forget the most basic needs of its students: sufficient housing for freshmen and sophomores.