The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

Martinetti closing its dorms

Gunter Kleist
A possible solution for vacant dorms in Martinetti

On March 18, Residential Life publicly announced that the Martinetti building will be closing its doors for student housing as of the 2024 Fall semester. From safety concerns with the kitchen, to lack of student presence, and with no clear plan of what will happen in the future, Director of Housing Operations Michael Robilotto told Basement Medicine that this “wasn’t an easy decision to make” and that moving forward, VTSU-Johnson hopes to establish a “student community.”

Because of the lack of student enrollment, the six residential buildings on the VTSU-Johnson campus have felt rather empty, with only about 30 students per building, amounting to about 190 students living on campus. However, according to Robilotto, even before March 18, Martinetti’s student housing had been declared closed for the Fall semester of 2024. This is, in large part, due to the lack of facilities and funding needed to maintain residence halls.

To combat this, Residential Life has decided to try and put students into fewer buildings instead of having them spread out. Robilotto and Dean of Students Jamia Danzy have both explained that this decision was made to foster a sense of community among students.

Danzy said by placing students in closer quarters with each other, “that will help to build that campus pride and excitement about living on campus.”
Alongside this, safety concerns regarding the student-accessible kitchen within Martinetti have also contributed to the decision. There have been reports of students misusing appliances and crawling out of the window to climb onto the roof. Several students have also complained that the kitchen’s appliances are “moldy” and “unusable.”

Another important concern is the lack of accessibility for students, as the kitchen is on the second floor and only available to students within Martinetti. However, there have been multiple ideas proposed about where to create a kitchen space that will be accessible for all students. Some have suggested that a kitchen be established in the Badger Burrow, while others believe it should be placed in another dorm area. Though with no concrete plans in place, it is unknown when or even if this will happen.

There has also been talk to open gender inclusive housing in the Governors buildings, but there are no concrete plans for this either. Currently the third floor of Governors South has been appointed gender neutral for Martinetti students who wish to remain living co-ed.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to close Martinetti,” said Robilotto. “We’re trying to keep the areas maintained and doing the best we can for the students while also trying to navigate the new challenges of the VTSU colleges merging into one.”

“Everything is open for change,” Robilotto stated, adding that while Martinetti may be closing its doors for the fall semester, there is still room for the dorms to reopen if there is increased student enrollment.

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Sage As8bakw Selec
Sage As8bakw Selec, Staff Writer, Art Director
Sage "As8bakw" Selec (they/them) is an Indigenous and Bosnian artist and writer. They pride themselves on being critically honest and being passionate about their endeavors. They are currently living in Vermont, have a cat named Jiji, and enjoying being broke.

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