In a September 2008 editorial, Campus Times wrote about the lack of adequate attention paid to new transfer students at UR. At the time of the editorial, transfers lacked tools for creating social connections with one another — including an orientation longer than a day or adequate on-campus housing.
Today, it is heartening to see that some of the issues facing new transfers have changed. Particularly, transfer orientation has finally been given the attention and hard work that has long been given to freshmen orientation. This year’s transfer orientation was a praiseworthy effort, with programs beginning at the same time as freshman orientation and including special outings such as dinners, trips off campus and movie nights. UR should be proud that it is welcoming these older new students with as much fervor as it welcomes its general freshmen population.
Other initiatives have also been taken on to ease the transition from one school to another — though not to the same degree. For example, a previously defunct Transfer Student Connection club has been somewhat revived, although it is still not SA-recognized. Additionally, to make up for housing issues that not only transfers but many UR students face, a new position of Coordinator for Off-Campus Housing Programs has been created in the Residential Life office.
However, these issues remain not completely resolved. Housing for transfers is still not guaranteed, leaving many new students off-campus who are in need of the community of campus life. Housing has been tight in recent years and it is understandably difficult to accommodate all students who desire an on-campus dormitory. Still, all new students, no matter their class year, should be given the same priority that freshmen are given. This could be achieved by reserving a specific number of rooms in upperclassmen buildings prior to spring housing registration.
Accommodating new students is always a difficult endeavor, and it is encouraging that UR has begun to change the way transfers are welcomed. However, until housing issues are resolved for these students, the school cannot say in good faith that it is a “transfer-friendly” university.