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Tent City at Mines

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Written by Emily McNair

Posted on 30 March 2014

Officials in the department of Student Life have proposed a new way to house students at Mines: tents. According to initial estimates, 100 two person tents could be placed on Kafadar Commons. This would help ease the housing problems for incoming freshmen while providing students who want to "become one with nature" a way to do so. This will be the least expensive housing option on Mines campus with a cost of $2000 per semester. Students living in the tents will be required to obtain an unlimited meal plan as food in the tents is likely to attract wildlife.

These tents would be furnished with top-of-the-line cots and students will be asked to provide their own sleeping bags. These sleeping bags must protect the student from the most extreme temperatures expected in Golden. Additionally, every tent will include a small electric heater in the winter and a fan in the summer. Power would be obtained from neighboring buildings. Students living in the tents will have access to the laundry facilities in Maple Hall. As there are no bathrooms in the tent city, students will also receive access to the traditional halls for their bathing needs.

The tent city will have strict regulations to prevent discomfort for those in the area. Lights must be turned off at 10 pm to help minimize the amount of light pollution from the city. Additionally, students must only play music that their neighbors like. The definition of "neighbors" in the current regulations is extremely broad and includes those slacklining or walking in the vicinity of the tent. RHA members are hotly contesting this provision, noting that it restricts the choices of those living in the tent city. Another regulation is the prohibition of chairs. This provision is meant to protect Kafadar in the event that the tent city is not popular and must be shut down. Large appliances such as microwaves will be banned from the city, and students will not be allowed to parasail into the city. These are just a sample of the 1,057 regulations that students will have to agree to if they wish to live in the tent city.

When asked about these regulations, Lily Oak said that "it's nice that Mines is planning to cater to those of us that want to reconnect with nature. These rules are perfect! They protect the very place we want to connect with while being flexible enough to give us the freedom we need to live our lives." However, Oak mentioned that she was saddened by the fact that she couldn't "glide home from her adventures on Mount Zion."

The decision to house students in tents has come under much scrutiny. Many prospective students are wary of security, noting that "anyone could cut through the tent and steal [the student's] valuables." Public Safety has assured campus that they will increase patrols around the tent city to better protect students. Additionally, Student Life promises prospective students that the tents will be "the strongest available to civilians" and will provide shelter from "all but the most powerful of storms."

Opponents of the plans state that this collection of tents will hurt Mines' image. Many state that these tents would be an eyesore and may actually deter students from attending Mines. "I came to Mines because it was pretty," a student said, "and if you cover Kafadar with tents, you just destroyed one of the few green places on campus!" Parents of prospective students expressed similar sentiments. "I don't want to send my daughter to a school that looks like it's populated with homeless people," a parent said, "I expect this school to keep up a certain image. Tents on the commons certainly doesn't scream professionalism."

The proposal to pitch 200 tents on Kafadar Commons is still awaiting approval from the administration. The community is invited to an open forum on Wednesday, April 2 from 9:07 pm to 9:12 pm in Alderson Hall room 252. Comments can be submitted in advance to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . However, questions about the project should be submitted to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Inquiries will be handled within three years and comments will not likely reach the powers in control of this project.
Colorado School of Mines

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