The house that I live in downtown is literally a piece of crap. The first and second level porches are on the verge of collapsing, the outside paint is chipping, and there is mold throughout the house behind the walls and in the ceilings that is causing the ceiling in my bedroom slope down in a precarious manner in several different areas. I hope to never live in a house as crappy as the one that I live in now.
This is not to say that I don’t love living in downtown Lewisburg. I love the feeling of freedom that comes with not living on campus and being under the constant watch of the school and the RA’s that they employ. I love being able to be a social butterfly as I live in a house with seven of my close friends and right across the street from so many more. Living downtown is a truly amazing experience that I would not pass up, despite the piece of crap house that I live in.
Therein lies the issue — the landlords of the downtown houses know that Bucknell students will rent their houses for the school year no matter what conditions the houses are in, and they take HUGE advantage of this fact. The landlords have absolutely no incentive to make any improvements to the houses that we live in, and consequently the downtown houses end up looking like my house.
I am not saying that I expect to live in a beautiful home that is perfectly decorated and maintained inside and out; I am no prima donna and I know that this is merely a college house. However, I do believe that either the town of Lewisburg or Bucknell should implement some regulations on the landlords, first for the health of the students, and then for the appearance of downtown Lewisburg. I tested my bedroom for mold a few weeks ago and found that there are several different kinds of mold present. Although none of them are deadly (thank goodness), they are proven to cause many different kinds of allergies, and I think the fact that so many of them are present is disgusting, especially because they are causing the downward slope in my ceiling. I also think that Historical Lewisburg could benefit from a better upkeep on the outside of the houses, as there are random “normal” peoples’ houses that are beautiful and quant scattered among the downtrodden student houses.
There is no doubt in my mind that Alex Whigbee is correct that living downtown senior year is an essential part of Bucknell life as well as an important part of growing up and transitioning into the real world on living independently. Bucknell should not not try to limit the number of students living in downtown houses as the years progress, but rather should implement regulations on the landlords so that Bucknell students can continue to live healthfully and happily in beautiful downtown Lewisburg.