By Matthew Jimenez
Students living away from home for the first time at the Fresno State dorms say they feel safe, secure and comfortable despite having limited privacy.
“One hundred percent of our residents have issues [with roommates],” Tyler Miller, assistant director of housing said. “Most roommates are able to handle and resolve their own issues because a lot of our residents already have the skills.”
Miller said that staff had to get involved to solve a problem in about 50 rooms last year.
Resident advisors are trained to mediate any issues residents may have with their roommates, Miller said. They can give residents techniques and tools to deal with any issues that arise.
Sophomore Matthew Hughes lives in a community-style hall with one roommate.
“I have privacy, it’s not an issue,” Hughes said. “Last year my roommate and I worked around our class schedules, and that gave me enough time to be alone.
“This year my roommate is never in his room,” Hughes said. “I have all the privacy I could want.”
Miller said this year the dorms instituted a roommate agreement intended to help roommates get along. Every resident also has a safe in their room to store away personal belongings.
Brenda Giron, a freshmen living in the dorm suites, said it’s her first time being away from home. She lives with five other women and, while she said there have been no problems with her roommates, time to be alone is rare.
“There is no privacy when you live with other people,” Giron said. “Someone is always there. The only way to get privacy is if you go outside your dorm.”
To make sure there is a safe environment for students in the dorms and outside when they leave, Miller said that public safety assistants routinely check the dorms for propped opened doors, intoxicated students or anything that may be considered dangerous or suspicious.
The assistants carry walkie-talkies directly linked to the campus police department. Campus police routinely circle around the courtyard and the campus for any suspicious activity.
He said that the dorms use a secure key system that prevents any unauthorized entrance into the halls and atrium. Recently the Fresno State dorms put up a bike corral to prevent the theft of resident’s bikes.