Some of the incoming students this year were surprised to find no on-campus room waiting for them when they arrived. Residential Life underestimated the number of enrolling freshmen and some were referred to hotels or put in cramped triples with little hope of being changed to better situations. Due to the various decisions made by the administration regarding certain fraternities, ResLife has placed many members in Hill Court or Towers while houses on the Fraternity Quad remain vacant or woefully under-filled.
There seems to have been inadequate preparation on ResLife’s part for housing this year’s students.
Although there is no way for ResLife to determine how many students will eventually come to UR, there should be better contingency plans to ensure the situation would be remedied as quickly as possible, and with the least amount of grievance for new students. ResLife said a large number of late housing applications contributed to the problem. Perhaps having an online system for accepting housing agreements would expedite the process. Relaxing the requirement that sophomores live on campus should also be considered in order to ensure freshman room availability.
Accepting an overabundance of students means the college runs the risk of having overflow and they should regard it as something to be well prepared for.
Freshmen are guaranteed a spot on campus and being locked out of ideal housing on first arriving at college reflects poorly on the school as a whole.
ResLife should also consider all their housing options, including continuing to work with the university to carry out any needed renovations and refill the houses on the Fraternity Quad to ease the strain on housing for the rest of campus. They should be commended for continuous renovations, but perhaps more still needs to be done.
Students at UR are usually happy to stay on campus and enjoy their housing, many deciding to stay for all four years. Freshmen’s first experience at UR should not be marred by ResLife’s poor planning.