Apart of the UC Merced 2020 Project, there have been two new residence buildings added to our campus; Glacier Point and Granite Pass. These buildings provide undergraduate residential housing.

Glacier point is six stories tall, with all the following amenities: individual study rooms with whiteboards, lounge spaces with study rooms attached that have accessible TVs to hook up your personal devices to, large bathrooms with 6 stalls, 6 showers, 12 sinks, and personal lockers with locks, all-gender restrooms on every floor, and even sheltered bike storage, which is available within the hall. Not to mention the courtyard and a backdrop of the new tennis courts. It even has a ground floor, with public spaces that include classrooms, an all new kitchen and laundry rooms. Each floor is decorated with their own specific colors.

Granite pass is another residence hall that has four stories. It is much like Glacier Point, where it has study rooms, lounge spaces, meeting spaces, and sheltered bike storage. Ground floor public spaces include classrooms and student life areas. Unlike Glacier Point, which gets a view of the still expanding campus construction, Granite Pass gets a nice view of Little Lake.

Now, comparing the new building to the old ones such as Cathedral or Tenya, students and faculty alike have noticed some differences.
When I asked first-year student, Hannah Gilleran, about her resident building, Cathedral, she had some harsh things to say. First, she described the elevators in her building as “scary and feel like they are going to break.” Hannah also said that her building’s furniture is “gross and they have stains on them.” When I asked her her why she hangs out at Glacier Point more than her old building, she said it was because “Glacier Point has a better structure for learning, and creates more opportunities for student communication. Also, more people hang out here than in Cathedral.”

When I asked another first-year student, who does live in Glacier Point, how she feels about her residence building, she only said one thing;” it’s an all around better place than the other buildings.” However, she did have one complaint about the new building; “The first thing I’ve noticed about living in the new dorm is the little lake, and how it’s so close to the buildings. Now that doesn’t necessarily seem like a bad thing, but there is a problem that I hear almost everyone in the dorm rooms, and people who live in other buildings, complain about when they have class over in the new buildings. It’s the smell. The lake has moss or as people call it, ‘disgusting gunk’, that makes the walk to the housing horrible.”

Photo Credit: Andree Souder.

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