If University Housing has its way, all freshman will be required to live on-campus next fall, and sophomores will be able to live any where they choose.

By Gus Bode

Stevenson Arms, University Hall, The Quads and Garden Park are all freshman- or sophomore-approved housing.

Having all freshmen on campus benefits them in the long run. The first year of college is the most important because students are learning the ins and outs of the University. It is easier for freshmen to meet people and develop potentially life-long friendships.

One of the reasons given for the change was to promote retention and academic success for freshmen.

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This is the most important thing that should be taken into account. If freshmen were allowed to live anywhere they desired, it runs the risk of them not fulfilling school or work requirements.

By allowing sophomores to live anywhere, it opens spaces for the incoming freshmen in University Housing while offering more space in the areas that were freshmen approved.

Labeling certain housing as SIU-approved gives the student as well as the parent the notion that the University has ties to the property and that all rules that apply to the residence halls would apply to the off-campus housing.

Because SIU does not maintain the properties, the name should be removed, cutting all affiliations.

In the past, University Housing Director Ed Jones received complaints about the off-campus housing conditions from freshmen and sophomores, but because SIU has no authority over the rental properties, there was nothing he could do.

Looking out for the safety of new, young students is important, and the only way that can be obtained is by having them on campus.

Stan Leiber, owner of S&M Enterprises that operates Stevenson Arms and Garden Park, has since filed an injunction against the Board of Trustees to try and stop the policy change.

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He maintains that his properties may be dramatically affected because most of his tenants are freshman and sophomores.

If the properties are in good living condition, then there should not be a problem with filling the spaces that will be made vacant by freshmen.

Deciding where to live is usually based on price, location, condition and space.

Leiber may not have a problem filling his apartments if those four areas are comparable to students’ interests.

Requiring freshman to live on campus but allowing others to choose makes for a competitive marketplace-which benefits everyone.

Former freshmen/sophomore-approved housing will have to raise their standards to compete with the many other nicer places.

But once it is official that sophomores will not be bound to University housing and freshman will have to live on campus their first year, the matter should not be closed. The University should continue to look into ways it can help students adjust to individual living and maintaining academic success.

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