Residence halls to get furniture upgrade starting this summer


Christopher Gittings

University Housing invited four furniture vendors to campus on Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 to showcase their dorm furniture. Starting this summer, several buildings in the South Residential Village will receive new furniture, while new furniture will be purchased in the future.

Smruthi Maganti, Copy Editor

Late last Feburary, part of the first floor of the Tinkham Veale University Center was filled with furniture that wasn’t meant for its cafeteria. Instead it was meant for the residence halls.

On Feb. 21 and 22, University Housing held showings for new sets of furniture with the goal of providing students and staff an opportunity to provide feedback on the new sets. University Housing received a total of 150 responses that will help them decide which furnishings to purchase. Most of the current furniture in residence halls is approaching the end of its use period, meaning the existing beds, tables and chairs must be replaced.

“University Housing is developing a multi-year plan to replace this furniture in a coordinated and systematic way,” said Allison Heuring, director of Budgets and Financial Planning.

From noon-5 p.m. on Tuesday, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Wednesday, passersby who inspected the different sets of beds, chairs, tables and wardrobes lined up next to the wooden staircase in TVUC had the chance to take an eight-question survey online using a QR code.

University Housing began the process this past December, when they sent out a request for proposals to leading student living space furnishing companies. Those that met the university’s criteria, Brill Manufacturing Co., Southwest Contract, Foliot Furniture and Ecologic Furniture, were invited to campus to give students and staff the chance to offer their opinions on the options each company provided.

“I think it’s a great draw to students, as far as prospective students,” said Melanie Kaiser, a first-year student. “It’s great that they are getting student opinions on something that would affect student life.”

Kaiser felt positive about the university purchasing new furniture and giving students the opportunity to view the options.

“The process is continuing. We are currently contacting references,” wrote John White, director of Housing, in an email.

No decisions have been made on the vendor yet.

According to White and Heuring, students can expect the new furniture to start appearing in Kusch House, Michelson House, Glaser House, the Pi Beta Phi House and a few other facilities in the South Residential Village beginning this summer. Over the next six or seven years, University Housing plans to replace all furnishings in residential facilities.