For the last month, UR has been in the midst of the arduous process of housing for next fall. This year especially has been stressful for everyone because of the adjustments that came with the implementation of freshman housing. With more attention placed on the housing process, one fundamental difference is revealed between UR and other universities.
Currently, UR does not allow juniors and seniors out of their housing contracts. Student concern arose about this issue on campus when a few juniors wanted to opt out of their contract after not getting desired housing.
Many national universities who guarantee housing have methods that students can get out of their contract after signing them. Students at Rochester Institute of Technology already know their housing assignment when signing the contract. And, on top of that, they can opt out of the contract before July by doing the proper paper work. The University of Washington at St. Louis also guarantees undergraduate housing but allows students to opt out of their contracts by forfeiting their $250 deposit.
Similarly, SUNY Geneseo will allow students to get out of signed contracts if they do not like their room assignments by forfeiting the $100 deposit.
As a result, UR has several options to change how the current process works. Either UR should mandate a contract deposit and allow students to opt out and lose their deposit, or create two steps in the process. In the first step, ask students what type of housing they want on campus in order to allocate rooms for the lottery, and in the second step, have students sign their contract when they actually know the room they will be living in.
The few upperclassmen who are unhappy with their room would be able to make an informed decision about where they would live ? whether on or off campus.
Since freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus, there will always be a substantial number of students to fill the dorms. Residential Life should not force students to live in places which they are unhappy with and letting students out of their contracts is a way to prevent this.