By Michael Dementjevs
From the perspective of an incoming first-year, Manresa is a time where they get to experience life at Xavier. Manresa places a person into an environment where they are surrounded by a group of people who are in the same boat as one another: transitioning from high school to college.
There’s no question that Manresa is an important part of a first-year’s experience. The problem lies within its failure to provide clear communication, which led to further complications with the roles of Alternate Orientation Leaders and living situations at University Station.
I applied during my second semester of freshman year and went through the same process of interviewing and anxiously waiting to see if I was even selected to be a leader. I got placed as an “Alternate.” I was a little disappointed to say the least, but I knew that there was a possibility that over the summer that I could be placed as an actual Orientation Leader.
My problems first arrived when there was confusion about what an Alternate Orientation Leader even was. What were the responsibilities? The only things that were gathered was that they go to the trainings and move-in early. Later on, information about it became hazier and more confusing as there was conflicting information from the Core Team and several admitted Manresa people; so I was then left in a bind about when to leave my summer job and move into University Station, and all I could do was wait.
With the Alternate position basically being nothing short of a waiting game, I respectfully rescinded consideration of being elevated due to a lot of miscommunication and disorganization.
Two of my roommates were selected as Orientation Leaders, so we thought that they both move in early, while my other roommate and I move in on the day the lease starts. It sounds simple enough. Throughout the summer, however, there wasn’t any word regarding early move-in. Two weeks before the start of the lease, August 15, a text from University Station was sent out reading, “The only way to move in early is to sign the as-is agreement.” This, of course, threw us off as that meant we would have to take a gamble on whether or not the apartment would be clean. We later found out that the reason why it took so long was that University Station switched management in May, and Manresa failed to notify the new management — giving little time for Manresa leaders and staff to make a decision — especially those who do not live in the area. We opted out of it, but through a glitch in University Station’s system, it registered us as if we were moving in early, causing a delay in apartment cleaning. On move-in day, there were a host of problems ranging from peeled paint to the dishwasher being full of mold and not shutting all the way.
I understand some things can go a little south, especially with something as important and impactful as Manresa, but the organization and miscommunication about specific roles and occupying a healthy living space was just completely inexcusable. I would hope the individuals running Manresa next year are able to rally around the idea of being more communicative with upcoming leaders and staff.