By Rachel Popa
Managing Editor of Social Media and Web Content
This article is from the Torch’s satire issue, the Scorch.
Roosevelt University recently announced the decision to sell the Wabash building in an attempt to cut costs. This decision comes after a four year struggle to pay off the massive debt that has accumulated after the completion of the building in 2012.
“While it saddens us greatly to sell the Wabash Building, I’m afraid we have no other choice,” said Ali Malekzadeh, the president of Roosevelt University. “We should have never taken out those bonds. But, what can I do? I inherited a mess.”
RU began construction on the building in 2010, just a year or so after the recession began, which was a bold move considering the real estate market was in shambles. The aim of the building was to attract young college students to live on campus, which is the opposite of the traditional commuter students that had attended Roosevelt in the past. The irony is not lost on the writer of this article, whose primary reason for choosing Roosevelt was the opportunity to live in the Wabash building, and has since moved off campus because the coast for room and board is too damn high.
Roosevelt’s plan to attract young, wealthy students who don’t need to take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans in order to live on campus has not exactly gone over well. The university has not managed to exceed projections of enrollment, and multiple floors of the Wabash Building remain empty as a result. According to sources within the university’s janitorial department, the university has been secretly allowing overworked and underpaid professors to stay in the empty dorms as a tradeoff for cutting their salaries and asking them to work more.
“Staying in a 300 square foot dorm allows me to save money since I don’t have to pay rent, or spend money on gas or insurance,” one professor told the Scorch under an agreement of anonymity. “It’s kind of cramped and I don’t have a kitchen, but at least the view is nice.”
In a rare stroke of luck for the university, a buyer has already expressed interest in the building. A local developer, General Trifecta Filings (GenTriFi), has laid out a plan to turn the Wabash Building into trendy, mixed-use studios.
“We’re going to split up the dorms that are already there and turn them into 250 square foot studios,” said Daniel J. Trunch, the CEO of GenTriFi. “It’s a concept that’s all the rage with kids these days. Basically all you have room for is a bed, and you share a bathroom with your neighbor.”
When asked how that’s any different from the way dorms are traditionally set up, Trunch said that the concept may be similar but there’s one key difference.
“We’re aiming at people who have managed to be employed for a time after graduation and have money,” he said. “Also, it’s way more expensive. These are going to be luxury units.”