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Student Senate re-evaluates idea to put kitchens in dorms

The idea to build kitchens in the dorms came about a few years ago as part of a Student Senate resolution, but the executive director of Residential Living and Leadership said there are some issues with the idea.
“Probably three or four years ago, a student resolution was passed about putting a kitchen in the lobby of Harper/Wyckoff as a part of a resolution that included redoing the Heitz [Hall] basement,” Nathan Thomas said. “We did the Heitz stuff because it was doable, but we’ve held off on the kitchen because of real feasibility issues.”
Thomas said difficulties include getting a kitchen up to fire code, building a vent system and dealing with a plumbing system that isn’t built for food disposal.
“Its not as simple as just putting in a stove and calling it good,” Thomas said. “First we have to consider the actual feasibility of the idea and second, the expense. It’s actually a pretty complicated project, believe it or not.”
But despite these issues, Senate is still considering adding a kitchen to Harper/Wyckoff.
“A question concerning a kitchen was raised recently at Speak Up,” Student Body President Jordan Ticaric said. “I also had one of the students in an EHS class I teach ask me if there was any place that students could cook.”
Ticaric said before action is taken, she is trying to figure out how much interest there is on the issue and if kitchens would benefit the students.
Senior social work and Spanish major Lindsay Tabor lives in the dorms and said if there were a kitchen available, she would probably use it every week or two.
“Some people really enjoy cooking,” she said. “I missed cooking when I first came to Bradley. I think a kitchen would be a great thing, especially for some students who are health conscious. It would help people save money and give them something to do. I think it could also be a good opportunity for students to get to know each other.”
Junior music major Kirsten Wuebben also said she felt the kitchens would be a benefit.
“I think I would eat a lot more fruit and salad and stuff,” Wuebben said. “I use a microwave a lot right now, but I would use a kitchen if it were available.”
Sophomore business major Stephen Colbert said he had mixed feelings on the issue.
“My immediate reaction is that it would be hard to keep clean and organized,” he said. “I think there might be problems with dishes and utensils, too. If it could be kept clean, though, it would be great possibility. I think I would definitely use it more than once a week, even for little things. It’s kind of disconcerting to have to get water for your Ramen out of the bathroom. And when everything is closed on campus, it’s hard to find anything to eat.”
Ticaric said she wants to represent the majority on this issue.
“I realize our dorms weren’t made for this kind of thing, and people are nervous about making major renovations because of expense and there are also worries about cleanliness and liability,” she said. “Right now I need to get a feel for what the students are thinking and see if we should put that dollar amount into a kitchen or if it could be better used somewhere else.”
Ticaric said students should contact her if they have an opinions or questions on the issue.
“Students can feel free to e-mail me, come to Student Senate meetings or stop by the student activities office.”
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