EDITORIAL: Freshmen and sophomores are only kind of required to stay on campus

Feb. 19, 2013 Editorial Cartoon

Herald Staff

THE ISSUE: Despite overcrowding, WKUs Housing and Residence Life still requires freshmen and sophomores to live on campus.


OUR STANCE: If the overcrowding makes the housing requirement policy easy to waive, then the policy is oboslete. 

It’s time.

If the numerous posters proclaiming students should “Live ON!” haven’t cued your senses that it’s time to register for housing again, take this as your reminder.

For some students, this time of year is inapplicable to them. These students likely commute or live in an apartment or house. Actually, WKU often encourages students to live off campus. This encouragement has often come in the form of mass emails informing the recipients that campus is overcrowded and that if students wanted to relinquish their rooms, it wouldn’t be a problem.

However, the WKU Housing and Residence Life site still has a required housing policy that says, “Full time freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus.”

There are exemptions. Veterans of military service of 181 days or more, married students, primary caregivers of dependent children, students who are 21 and older, Greek community sophomores whose chapters have a house and commuters are all allowed to live off campus. HRL will also consider “unique and unusual” circumstances, but otherwise, any freshman or sophomore who doesn’t comply gets a $1,000 fee.

But if campus is apparently overcrowded, why keep it mandatory for freshmen and sophomores to stay on the Hill?

Louisville freshman Megan Laffoon currently lives in Minton Hall. Even though she’s not old enough to live off campus, according to the HRL site, she said she got an email from HRL at the beginning of the semester informing her that there are too many people living on campus. The email asked her if she would like to move off campus.

“I’m a freshman,” Laffoon said. “I don’t even know Bowling Green that well. Why would I do that?”

Because of the policy and her unfamiliarity with Bowling Green, Laffoon said she thought it was a mistake that she had received the email.

If HRL is sending these emails to students of any year, it must not be very hard to get the on-campus housing requirement waived. It seems one of those “unique and unusual” circumstances could be overcrowding. If that’s the case, why keep the policy at all?

If a justification for keeping it is to get students to socialize, Laffoon said this may be an impotent reason.

“I think at a school this big, it’s not that important to live on campus,” Laffoon said. “If you want to get connected, you’ll get connected…I don’t think it’s an important policy to have.”

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 11-member editoral board.