ResLife Gathers Student Feedback on New Furniture

BW students’ input is being considered by the Office of Residence Life regarding new furniture to be purchased for use in dorm rooms and apartments.  

On Tuesday Feb. 15 and Thursday Feb. 17, Residence Life had a showroom in Heritage Hall  with multiple new furniture options on display. The showroom displayed a bed, a desk attached to the bed, a desk with a whiteboard, and a chair and cabinets with wheels from manufacturing company Sauder Education.

Todd Heft, assistant director of residence life, hosted the showroom with the intention to receive student feedback on what type of furniture they prefer.  

“To me and to the rest of the department, it makes more sense if we have the ability to get student feedback,” Heft said. 

Those who attended the showroom and filled out the survey will likely be invited to participate in a focus group. Participants will provide unique feedback about the different types of furniture, and give input on small details like identifying the most favorable color for the furniture.  

“[One] piece of feedback that I saw is about the desk that we have on the shelf doesn’t have a lamp,” Heft said. “That’s good information.” 

Heft told The Exponent that in the focus groups, he will sit down with students and have a conversation while providing catered food.  

“One of the questions that I’m going to include is ‘Does your desk need to have a lamp light?’ And if it does, then we know [that] when we order furniture, regardless of where we order from,” Heft said. 

Other expected topics for the focus group are related to the height of the bed, choosing a color for the dressers, and selecting whether to have dressers with all drawers in one place, or a customizable option with drawers able to be put in multiple configurations. 

“We have an option where it’s the two drawers and then they can stack on top of each other,” Heft said. 

BW doesn’t have specific plans for when they are going to get the new furniture for all Residence Halls. 

“We know that we’re getting new furniture in North Hall, but that furniture has already been ordered as part of the renovation,” Heft said. 

After placing an order for furniture, it can take anywhere from 6-7 months to a year for the furniture to get built and delivered. In addition, the residence life office doesn’t always have a clear timeline for when building renovations occur and it will be approved to replace or upgrade the furniture in a certain building. 

“Once we get permission, it’s too late to ask the students because it takes a lot of time to get that together,” Heft said. 

To get ahead of this, Residence Life plans to order the furniture for multiple buildings now to have that furniture ready when it’s needed. Their goal with the showroom was to get the student feedback now so that when the time comes for the department to order the furniture, they already know what the students are looking for. 

“When you order it and it comes in and the students are like, ‘we don’t like those,’ well, it’s too late,” Heft said. “It ‘s already here. Furniture is a capital investment.”