TOPIC OF THE WEEK: Will the Honors Village be too exclusive?
As someone with no affiliation with no the honors program whatsoever, I don’t feel the honors village is too exclusive. It looks like another form of housing that has a set of requirements like some other dorms do. There are dorms that only cater to grad students, are they exclusive too? I think part of the allure of the U of A honors program is that it is somewhat distinct from the rest of the student body.
The University of Arizona’s newest (and very drastic) construction project has created a noteworthy buzz: the “Honors Village”, set to open in fall 2019, is being made to sound like heaven on earth.
According to the U of A Honors College website,
“The University of Arizona Honors Village features dorm and apartment-style housing for more than 1,000 Honors Wildcats. With integrated dining, collaborative learning classrooms, an interior courtyard, faculty and staff offices, a Campus Recreation Center and Campus Health Service Counseling & Psych Services (CAPS) satellite, the Honors Village will be the hub for the Honors community.”
Aside from the pricey aspect, I find there is something very elitist about it. Though its buzzword-laden description is quite attractive, something about it just doesn’t sit right with me. Sure, it has the ability to bring in more students from across the country (and even world), and make the horrors of dorm life a thing of the past, but it just seems so unnecessarily elaborate.
Another tidbit on the Honors website states that students may “Connect with [other] Honors students, faculty, and staff without stepping foot outside of the building.” It’s a great appeal to convenience, but it seems like it disregards an essential part of the college experience--being forced to walk long distances on a huge campus in 1000 degree weather because you don’t know where your next class is. Why would you want to miss out on that?
Having lived in an Honors community for three years, it makes sense to have a community for people who are generally focused more on their studies than other students. However, I also think the cost of the Honors Village will make it exclusive to students of a higher socio-economic status, which is not okay if it will be marketed as an 'Honors community.' The Honors college needs to provide information about scholarships as soon as possible, and these scholarships need to be substantial.
Lastly, I think what will make the Honors Village appear to be so exclusive will be its isolation from campus. It is not unrealistically far to travel to campus for events, though I think it is far enough to keep students from going to many on-campus Residence Hall Association or dorm events with the rest of the student body. This could be a problem (but doesn't have to be if the Honors College addresses it), because if there is one lesson that all honors students need to learn, it is that they are not 'all that,' and there is a lot that each of us can learn from any student, whether or not she has an 'honors' label attached to her.
Yes, I am bitter. The Honors Village is honestly somewhere I want to live. But yes you have guessed correctly: I cannot because I am not in the Honors Program. I feel like the Honors Village is exactly what the University needed, but instead of just for honors they should include other students. I personally feel like I am hard working, and deserving of having the amenities the Honors Village provides, such as having an apartment style dorm.
Although I would love to live there, there are Honors students who probably cannot. The Honors Village will be the most expensive dorm to live in starting Fall 2019. If the Honors program is going to be exclusive to just their students they should definitely accommodate those students that cannot afford this lavish style of living. The Honors Village according to the website is a critical addition to the college so if that is so the capacity should be over 1,000 residents. Nevertheless, there is no doubt in my mind that the Honors Village will attract many students around the country.
Follow the Daily Wildcat on Twitter