China’s Worst Dormitories

The new semester has started. Thousands of freshmen have commenced their studies and moved into their new home for the years to come: college dorms. Students collectively posted pictures of their on-campus housing. One particular dorm in Guangzhou went viral as the worst dorm of China.

Most of China’s universities and colleges offer housing for students. Dormitories are an economical solution for students; their family homes are often far away from college, and they do not have the financial means to rent one of the much-demanded apartments in or around university areas. Apart from practical and economical reasons, parents often also want their children to live at university because of safety and sociological reasons, since dorms are believed to be a crucial place for students’ growth and development (Ding 2006). Higher education institutes also encourage students to live on-campus to incorporate them into the so-called “campus culture”, which makes it easier for universities to monitor and influence students’ development (Su 2012).

Dormitories have their own rules. Some do not allow boys to visit girl’s departments and vice versa, others require students to be in before 23:00 or earlier, meaning that a lot of a student’s life takes place within the dorm walls. There are different types of dorms: some have rooms for two persons, some hold four, six, or even ten people.

China’s dorms became a trending topic on Sina Weibo in the second week of September, as freshmen moved into their new on-campus homes and collectively posted pictures of what their dorms looked like. The ‘winner’ of the worst dorm was one particular dormitory in Guangzhou. The cramped dorm is meant for 14 people, and currently houses 12 students. Its main point of interest is its bathroom, that lacks any form of privacy. It has two squat toilets right next to each other, and two shower heads just thirty centimeters apart. “Ideal for lovebirds,” netizens mockingly say.



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