Freshmen housing still needs improvement

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    Students are living in converted community space in four residence halls for the fourth year in a row, and it’s time for the Office of Housing and Residence Life to find a new solution.

    Heather Miller, associate director of housing, said students had been placed in rooms originally built as lounge spaces in the halls since she was hired more than four years ago. The office has no plans to alter its strategy for combating the increasing number of freshman who choose to attend the university each year, she said.

    Miller said students currently live in rooms built as lounge space in Brachman Hall, Colby Hall, Foster Hall and Waits Hall because there are too few rooms to accommodate incoming students.

    The university adopted a policy that required first and second-year students to live on campus beginning in fall 2007 to foster a sense of community on campus, Miller said.

    Rather than allow the over-booked students to find housing off campus, the university stubbornly requires them to cram into lounges, depriving all residents of their amenities.

    The policy of placing students in community space robs each student living in that residence hall of a part of the college experience. Students living in the lounges don’t get a traditional college experience, and other students living in the hall don’t have a space to spend time outside their room and socialize with neighbors and guests.

    The office either needs to relax the requirement for first and second-year students, or create enough rooms to house all of them properly.

    News editor Kayla Mezzell for the editorial board.