Pioneer Village Working Through Growing Pains


Celeste Gessner, Staff Writer

Pioneer Village is Utica College’s newest residence building complex. It currently houses 144 students with four assigned to a room. The apartment-style buildings include four single rooms that have a double bed, a full kitchen, two bathrooms per apartment and an in-apartment laundry room. While this has been a reason of pride for UC, some students are already finding some issues with their brand-new residence hall.

Junior Victoria Lukashevich majors in physical therapy and is a resident assistant for building C in Pioneer Village finds that one of the biggest issues found is residents leaving their trash outside the buildings instead of taking it to the dumpster. 

Lukashevich also said the waste management situation is contributing to another issue in Pioneer Village since skunks are being found wandering near the buildings and the dumpster. 

“Pest control has been here (Pioneer Village) and they have set up these little boxes will take care of the problem hopefully,” she said. 

After bringing up these issues to the Executive Director for Student Living and College Engagement Scott Nonemaker, he said that the skunk problem will be taken care of beyond just the boxes set up outside the buildings.

“There is a family of skunks that have been around Ney Avenue and Pioneer Village. We have asked to have them trapped and removed,” Nonemaker said. 

Resident assistants are trying to resolve the issue of the skunks and trash by having talks with students on proper disposal of their trash. There are also cameras set up outside the buildings to catch individuals who do not dispose of their trash properly so that their RA’s can reprimand those who continue to cause this issue. 

Kristina Barth is a senior majoring in Biology who lives in Pioneer Village and found that the biggest problem with living in these new buildings is the structure. She believes that the walls are too thin and the process for the building was rushed. 

“The walls are really really thin so that’s an issue because you can hear everything from other people’s rooms in your own apartment but you can also hear everything from upstairs and downstairs,” she said.

Barth also stated that she feels as if the building process was rushed because the semester was about to begin and the college had to meet a deadline so students could start living in the building. 

Despite the issue, Barth does like living in Pioneer Village and said it is worth it to live there, especially once the school works out the kinks for future residents.

Cristina Petretta is a junior at UC majoring in business management and is also Barth’s suite mate. Petretta shared Barth’s concerns about the walls being too thin, but also said the Community Center in the Pioneer Village has some safety issues. 


“I feel like the Community Center is creepy because you have to use your key fob to get into the front of the building but you don’t have to do that to get into the back door,” Petretta said. “You can literally just walk in, so I feel as if it’s a safety issue because anybody can get in there.”

This was not Petretta’s only concern regarding the Pioneer Village’s safety. The windows are large and open so someone might be able to see through them. UC is an open campus and 

Pioneer Village is located next to an open street so if the shades are not drawn a person could look into the apartment.