Whether we choose to admit it or not, a university’s prestige matters greatly to students and faculty when considering their enrollment or employment. However, one look at Brandeis’ Niche reviews and the message is clear. Our C-minus-rated student life and D-minus-rated dorms are not a positive reflection on who we wish to be as a school. What was once envisioned as a nurturing environment for students has devolved into a landscape of neglect and systemic frustration.

What is our University prioritizing when it comes to student life? When you look at the Brandeis homepage, their message seems apparent. Brandeis prides itself on their commitment to maintaining residential communities, facilitating student-led clubs, and providing proper care and support for student’s health. However, the rollout of these “commitments” has not been as smooth sailing as the website makes it seem. 

While an unspoken rule, a large component of a college’s student life involves a student's perceived comfort in existing without pushback on campus. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case at Brandeis. Upon the first glimpse at the website alone, many have qualms with “offerings” listed in each section. With routine failures on the part of the University to provide housing for those in need or food free of allergen contamination, the most crucial aspects of a student’s needs are not met on campus. But the problems don’t stop there.

In regard to student health and wellness on campus, the Brandeis Counseling Center makes it close to impossible for students to create sustainable support plans as the center offers less than is needed by our student body. There is an enforced short-term action plan and group therapy sessions, both of which tend to fail to provide students with adequate support. Understaffing is a significant issue as well, which is incredibly unfair to both the students and professionals. 

When it comes to activities on campus, clubs and organizations struggle to secure adequate funding for their programs, leaving many groups unprepared for the upcoming year. Marathon budget results leave students feeling underwhelmed, as their budgets routinely fall short of their reasonable requests. The Student Activities Fund, the source of the Allocations Board budget, is a fixed number, and increasing the SAF would mean increasing tuition — something no one wants to do. Issues with finding consistent rooms in the Shapiro Campus Center, alongside frustrations in adapting to platform changes for communication and treasury requests, only add fuel to this fire. 

It is no secret that Brandeis' residential life has faced a myriad of issues in recent years. This has been acknowledged by the administration in last year’s decision to open up segments of Lassell University for Brandeis students due to unexpected results of the traditional housing lottery. Students are left stressed and uneasy about the following year, leading them to consider plans out of their price range, comfort and routine. With minimal solutions, they feel helpless with few places to turn.

Brandeis brags about their close student-to-professor ratios and relationships between administration and students, so it is sensible to believe that when students are in need of immediate resources, they will be granted support. This is simply not the case. “Student life” at a university must foster a student’s growth and development, in addition to ensuring that they feel comfortable expressing needed feedback with the hope of correction. 

—Editor’s note: Justice Sports editor Rani Balakrishna ’25 is a member of Student Union and was not consulted, did not contribute to, or edit any parts of this article pertaining to Student Union.