As the fall semester starts to wind down, Shippensburg University student email inboxes are filling with information for not just the spring semester. Information is pouring in about housing selection for fall 2020.
Many students, including myself, were shocked by how quickly the selection process rolled out.
However, the truly shocking surprise for many students was the new housing requirement for sophomores to live on campus for two years.
Students who had been wanting to live off campus may be rattled by the new policy. Wanting to live off-campus to save money or for their convenience, in addition to their frustration that they cannot choose where to live as legal adults ages 18-20.
Some exemptions do exist, which actually would entail a sizeable portion of the affected student group population. The exceptions are for students with more than 60 undergraduate credits, those who reside full time with their parents/legal guardians within 35 miles of campus.
More exceptions include those who are 21 years old or older or those who are legally married, and students who lived on campus for their first year and achieved a 3.2 GPA or higher at the end of their first full academic year.
In spite of student frustration, which in my opinion is well-warranted, there are some upsides that students should consider regarding this new policy. Barry McClanahan, executive director for Campus Life shared the university’s main reasoning at Presidents Hour on Nov. 5. “He said the primary motivation behind the policy is to increase retention and academic success of students.
“Numerous studies have shown that living on campus is more beneficial for student’s academic success,” McClanahan said.
Increasing the time of students living on campus would keep students closer to their academics and help them genuinely adapt to college responsibilities while reducing non-academic responsibilities like paying rent, dealing with landlords and paying for utilities.
The requirement of more students living on campus would significantly increase the financial standing of SU, and help the university to decrease its debts and budgetary issues.
The university would also likely have higher retention rates among students, which was listed by SU President Laurie Carter as one of the main goals for the year.
More people living on campus would mean a greater community of students and that our residence halls would be stuffed. The weekends might look a lot less bare and instead would be livelier around campus.
Ultimately, whether you approve or disprove of this new SU policy, give the upsides of the policy a thought, before jumping straight to anger. Give it a thought as, this is our campus community.