Cedar Hall: Is It Worth It?

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Cedar Hall
Whatcom Community College’s first residence hall. Photo courtesy of WCC

With Cedar Hall finishing up one of its most successful events this year, it is time to ask the biggest question yet: is Cedar Hall worth it?

As of right now, Whatcom Community College only has one residence hall, Cedar Hall. Built in the middle of the recent pandemic, the four-story, 145,833-square-foot building can house up to 233 residents at a time.

“The building is great and the community building that happens every day is pretty amazing,” said a second-year resident.

The building offers several different amenities such as mail delivery, student computers, community events, WIFI, on-site maintenance and more.

With several options available for applicants to choose from, each choice offers a sense of privacy and independence.

The units available are a four-bedroom/two-bath, two-bedroom/one-bath, one-bedroom/one-bath, and a studio/one-bathroom. Prices range from $2,850 to $4,200 a quarter.

“The price for even just a four-bedroom is extremely reasonable,” said one resident. “It includes almost all the utilities and is way cheaper than anything else in Bellingham which excludes utilities. Also, I’m extremely thankful there is not hall style bathrooms.”

While the prices can seem a little unreasonable on their own, comparing the prices to other one-bedroom/one-bathroom units on different real-estate sites, it is very affordable.

The only thing not included in the utilities is the laundry. There are a total of 20 washers and dryers, each load taking $3, not a lot of money but it adds up in the end.

“There are a lot of times where I’ll go to do laundry and there are none left but nothing is running,” said a resident. “It’s like they put their clothes in and forget about it.”

There is a plan in place for email reminders when residents’ washers and/or dryers go off to be implemented soon to combat this concern.

Parking at Cedar Hall has also been a concerning problem for residents and faculty alike, however, at this point in time the only parking expansion would be with the inclusion of a new building in the future. For now, if residents are lucky, they can find a spot in the back or park across the street in the Orange Lot.

On each floor, there are Resident Advisors (RA), most of the time they are students who live in the building and are trained to be peer leaders who coordinate activities, enforce policies, and provide safety and support for residents. There is always an RA on call in Cedar Hall 24/7.

Aside from RA’s, some administration members work in the building as well, including Terri Thayer, the Director for Community Standards and Residence Life; Mo Whalen, the Residence Life Manager; Josh Davis, the Residence Life Coordinator; and Chelsea VanDyke, the International Housing Case Manager.

Everyone works together to maintain a healthy and happy environment and sense of community, including two residents who are current work studies.

The work study students are often seen collaborating and working together with RA’s as well as the front desk receptionist.

While each RA does their own personal program event a month, the entire residence life team does one large event a month.

“The inclusivity and range of events that are put on for us as the residents is awesome,” said a resident. “I have made tons of friends and have come out of my shell more than when I first got here.”

Events can range from smaller personal programs like video game night to queer craft night and from bigger events like prom, field days and pride celebrations.

While there are pros and cons to living in Cedar Hall, consensus seems to indicate that the ultimate answer is yes, it is worth it. It is worth it to be a part of such a tight-knit and inclusive community.

Note: this article’s author was a resident advisor for the 22-23 school year, and quoted residents names have been withheld for privacy reasons.

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