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Esperanza Hall Demands Hygienic Standards from Freshmen

Esperanza Hall Demands Hygienic Standards from Freshmen - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Keyland “KB” Burel, a first-year business major and resident of Esperanza Hall, called his new home “one of the nicest dorm rooms I’ve ever seen.”

After a fast year of construction, Texas A&M University-San Antonio expands its size with the addition of its new on-campus dorm rooms. Esperanza Hall opened its doors for incoming freshmen on Aug. 17, for the fall 2017 semester. The dorm currently houses nearly 280 new students, according to Alexis Ruiz, director and general manager.

The residence hall offers a variety of services for studying, fitness and leisure activities for all students living on campus. There are study and conference rooms on the third floor. The game room on the second floor offers a selection of arcade games, and a large television set for gamers to hook up their own consoles. The fitness center on the first floor is open for 24 hours as opposed to the other areas in the building.

During a tour of the facilities, Ruiz addressed some questions about maintaining a healthy and sanitary environment for its residents.

“We have a full-time housekeeper on staff,” Ruiz said, “that cleans every morning, then again during the day, and then she’ll do it again at night.”

Ruiz showed that every floor has its own laundry room for students, each one having six washers and dryers. She also stated that she’s never seen a line for laundry, so students have no excuse for not regularly washing their clothes and sheets during the flu season.

Ruiz also says that students are required to sign a lease agreement before moving in, part of which demands that students keep their own living spaces up to a certain standard of cleanliness.

“It’s great,” Burel said, when asked how he likes living in Esperanza Hall, “All the RA’s, Zoey, Ms. Carey, Alexis, those guys are great, they make sure all our needs are met.”

When asked if he feels that Esperanza Hall is a safe environment regarding health and sanitary issues, Burel expressed no worries on the matter.

Despite living at the well-equipped dorms, Burel said it comes with fines for not meeting room upkeep standards.

“Actually on the first week, they pulled us to the side and took us to the cafeteria,” Burel said, “They told us if our rooms are dirty, or if anything was unkempt, there would be a big fee.”

How much those fines are, remains unclear. Dorm residents interviewed by The Mesquite did not offer specific amounts. A spokeswoman that works for American Campus Communities, which built and manages the dorms, said the university imposes the fines. Jo Anna Benavides-Franke, Dean of Students, which oversees student housing, did not respond to an email inquiry.

Dorm staff perform walk-in inspections to make sure students are keeping their rooms neat and tidy. Burel said he isn’t worried about being fined because he’s more than tidy when it comes to his own living space.

“They’re not walking in whenever they feel like it,” Burel said. “They do tell us ‘Hey, there’s inspections,’ and if they do walk in and there’s trash everywhere then you will be fined. They let us know when inspection weeks are coming up, but you don’t know which rooms they’re gonna go through first.”

Jose Arredondo contributed to this story.

About the Authors

John French
John French
Hi there. I’m 27 years old, and this should be my last year here at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. As a communication major, I’ve received my associate degree in radio and television broadcasting from San Antonio College, and worked as a reporter on The Ranger. Even when I am not writing for a newspaper, I write my own fictional stories in my free time, so writing is a huge part of my life. I hope the stories I write for The Mesquite will not only be informative, but entertaining as well.
Ramon Fernandez
Ramon Fernandez
Hi, my name is Ramon Fernandez I am a senior communication major with a minor in psychology. I work at VIA metropolitan transit as a bus operator, where being the face of the company has taught me the importance of public relations. My hobbies include, weightlifting, healthy cooking and photography. My goal is to be self-employed and maybe work for a health or fitness magazine.
Victor Roberson
Victor Roberson
Victor Roberson edited “There are no mistakes or coincidences.The struggle is beautiful, embrace it.” I’m a father of three wonderful girls who relishes the opportunity to express my consciousness and impact perspectives by any means necessary. I’m a junior majoring in communications, I work as a senior multimedia specialist at San Antonio College where I produce, shoot and edit video content. While studying at San Antonio College I was a staff writer for The Ranger and a DJ for KSYM 90.1 FM. I have a background in music production. I’m in the process of developing my own digital media brand and look forward to a future of creating indelible perspectives.
Jose Arredondo
Jose Arredondo
Jose Arredondo is a communications senior at Texas A&M University- San Antonio and currently interns with FOLO Media. Arredondo previously interned at Spectrum News where he covered the San Antonio Spurs and performed on camera. He has written and photographed at The Bugle Call, The Big Stick, The Ranger and La Prensa Newspapers. In seven years, Arredondo has interviewed Emmitt Smith, Gregg Popovich, Mayor Nirenberg, Diamond Dallas Paige and several over high profile figures.

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