The TCU administration is discussing the possibility of requiring freshmen and sophomores to live on campus, the Residential Services director said.Currently, students only have to live on campus their freshman year unless they live at home, but the rule might change in an effort to make TCU a more residential campus, said Craig Allen, director of Residential Services.
“There is a certain richness that comes from having students on campus,” Allen said. “It’s important to build a sense of community.”
There are 3,200 beds on campus, including Greek housing, and 628 beds will be added when the four new residence halls are complete in 2007, Allen said.
According to the Office of Institutional Research, there are 2,988 students living on campus, leaving 212 empty spots.
If the number of empty beds on campus remains the same, 840 students will need to move on campus to fill the space available in January 2008.
There are about 700 to 800 sophomores who live off campus currently.
Allen said the university is not concerned with being able to fill the rooms and said space to house all the freshmen and sophomores would not be a problem.
Residential Services is considering whether the GrandMarc at Westberry Place would count as on-campus housing under the new rule, he said.
Allen said there is no timeline for the rule to be instated but said he thinks it will happen in the next few years.
Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs, said in an Oct.18 e-mail that TCU is seeking ways to make the campus more residential and a two-year requirement is a good way to do that.
Allen said he hopes current students will support the potential requirement.
“Students will never like being told what to do,” Allen said. “But students who think critically about the situation will realize that it’s a good thing.”
Matt Kiesel, a senior finance major, said he thinks a two-year housing requirement would make the campus stronger.
Steele Struble, a freshman mechanical engineering major, said he is planning to move off campus as a sophomore.
“I want to have my own space,” Struble said. “But if I had known the rule coming in to TCU, it would have been fine.”
More than 70 percent of private institutions have campus residency requirements after freshman year, Mills said.
Trinity University in San Antonio requires students to live on campus for three years.
Wanda Olson, associate director of residential life for Trinity, said most students are happy with the requirement because it keeps them more connected to campus.