eck:Freshmen approved housing no longer an option

By Gus Bode

Sophomores will no longer be restricted to University- and Sophomore- approved housing under a new University Housing policy change effective the beginning of the fall semester 2003.

Freshmen will also no longer be permitted to reside at Freshmen Accepted Living Centers.

According the Ed Jones, director of University Housing, recent statistics show that on-campus living arrangements have a great deal to do with retention and academic success.


While University Housing has been looking at making this change for several years, administration felt now was the time to go through with the new policy.

“University Housing helps students get involved, and this is very important at the freshmen level,” Jones said. “Statistics show this necessity is not as strong with sophomores, which is why we’re letting them go.”

While the promotion of academic success was the No. 1 cause for requiring on-campus living for freshmen, Jones said another was to eliminate University Housing from “an awkward situation.”

“We can’t control the landlords in off-campus housing,” said Beth Scally, associate director for marketing and conferencing in University Housing.

Jones said many freshmen and sophomores have come to him in the past with complaints about off-campus approved housing. While many landlords do follow the recommendations of University Housing, it is not required, sparking some confusion among students and parents.

Jones has had several conflicts with students and parents in the past because he has no authority in the situation.

Numbers in University Housing will remain balanced through the transition, losing a relative number of sophomores to the gain of freshmen, Jones said. Last year, only 140 freshmen lived in off-campus housing.


“University Housing has a lot to offer at affordable costs,” said Larry Dietz, vice chancellor of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “It is felt by many that large portion of sophomores will remain on-campus because of this.”

For now, many off-campus approved living centers are bracing for impact next fall, considering options such as new marketing strategies to target upperclassmen.

Jeff Woodruff, owner and manager of University Hall, said he doubts the freshmen- and sophomore-approved living centers will be able to remain open once the new policy takes effect.

Freshmen make up 53 percent of the resident population in University Hall, but he said he is hopeful administration will reconsider their decision.

“We have yet to find a viable economic solution in the event the policy remains in place,” he said. “We just hope University Housing modifies this rule so that University Hall can survive.”

Woodruff also said the incoming students will be negatively affected by the policy change.

“If the new policy does go into effect, it is not just University Hall that will suffer, the students lose something too; they lose the freedom to choose,” he said.

Reporter Katie A. Davis can be reached at [email protected]