As class sizes expand each year, on-campus housing options have become far too slim — freshmen are “tripled” in cramped rooms, upperclassmen are begged to go off-campus and transfer students are left with no options at all. In a recent Campus Times article, Executive Director of Project Management Jose Fernandez noted the possibility of expanding University housing across the Genesee River. This idea should be put into action.
Riverview Apartments have been an undeniably successful endeavor. They have not only provided apartment-style living for upperclassmen and freed up Hill Court and Towers residences for juniors and sophomores, but they have also increased the University’s presence in the previously avoided 19th Ward and PLEX neighborhoods. UR can capitalize on this success by increasing housing options in the same area. While the location of housing is not as paramount as the need for new housing in general, expanding into these areas would be a positive development. It would solve housing woes while continuing to bring economic development to underdeveloped areas of the city.
The expansion of housing across the Genesee would, in all likelihood, be beneficial to all parties involved, but the University should still treat any possible expansion with as much care as they did the construction of Riverview. This means making a concerted effort to have a large security presence while simultaneously creating bonds with community members. Riverview has experienced a few security incidents but ultimately, thanks to University efforts to reach out to the community and keep students secure, the student’s experiences has been largely positive.
The population of the University is only getting larger, making an expansion of housing inevitable. While Riverview has not been free of security incidents, overall it has been a successful operation that has opened students to an area of the city in need of economic stimulation. To expand on this success is a logical choice that should be acted upon with haste.