UV residents no longer feel at home
By Dulce Castellanos
Bridge contributing writer
Originally published in the print edition on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021
Despite its existence as a place of residence with lifestyle features, some residents claim the Texas A&M International University Village’s fun nature no longer exists.
In the past, students described the village as a fun, engaging environment. Weekly activities involving arts and crafts were the norm. Before heading to classes, students could partake in early morning breakfasts. Games happened on the volleyball courts and students spent time in the pool area to blow off some steam.
For some, those times seem like distant memories.
“Things have now changed,” TAMIU student and current village resident Israel Cisneros said. “It felt awkward coming back [after COVID-19] because we had to adjust to all these continuing changes.”
Former University Village resident Samantha Charo said, “I don’t feel the same energy as I did before [COVID-19]. Post-COVID-19, I’ve been at my dorm all day except when I leave for my classes.
“There were so many activities offered to students before online classes, and now there’s barely any activities for residents, and the activities that are offered are boring and just not with the same energy as before.”
The campus returned to in-person classes, leaving TAMIUFlex behind, but not everything is back to normal.
“It’s not that I do not feel safe, because I know I am safe now that living with [COVID-19] has become the new normal,” Cisneros said. “I’d say I don’t want to participate anymore. I reminisce of how we used to participate in public spaces, around people with human connection. And now it’s barely there, to non-existent.”
To be sure, the University takes steps, as the administration deems necessary, to move closer to what might have been called a normal college experience back in 2019.