A Housing Concern…or Two

The Charger Bulletin

By Colleen Kerrigan

Contributing Writer

This post concerns the housing issue occurring right now. I am sure I am not the first expressing my anger with this ridiculous decision. I am junior student living in Sheffield Hall this academic year. During last year’s housing lottery, my roommates and I were not of the lucky 400 students who received housing in Soundview Hall. Although I was a little upset that I put my $40,000 towards the construction of this building and didn’t get to live there, I put my anger aside and dealt with living in Sheffield Hall. I had high hopes of living in Soundview Hall for the 2011-2012 academic year. However, after receiving the recently mailed housing changes for the 2011-2012 year, I am incredibly disgusted at the decisions being made at the expense of the students at the University of New Haven. A university is run because of the students. Without the students and the student’s money, there would be NO university.

Therefore, every decision made should be made with the students in mind. But it seems that time and time again, decisions are made at the student’s expense.

To me, this housing decision seemed to be made for the wrong reasons. The University of New Haven needed a “hook.” By offering incoming freshmen a brand new multi-million dollar residence hall, equipped with single bedrooms, AC, and a kitchen, incoming students would be sure to choose this school over other competitors. Personally, if I was an incoming freshman, that would be a great hook.  However, when I was an incoming freshman, I was PROMISED by the University of New Haven Admissions Team that I would have ON CAMPUS housing for four years. That was a huge contributing factor for picking University of New Haven. If I wanted to live off campus at a college I would have gone to a city school and found my own housing. However, I DO NOT want to live off campus.

Offering me “special” benefits to living off campus will not fool me. Maybe it would work for the incoming freshmen, but I have seen how this school has been run and I know the only reason junior and senior students will be moved off campus next year is so that they can accommodate more incoming students. What happened to lowering the freshmen acceptance rate?  Expansion is obviously very important for a university, however, I was under the assumption that the acceptance rate these past two years had been far too high and the acceptance rate would be lowered for next year. At this point in time, over 1300 freshmen students live on campus. Although some are tripled, they have housing in Bethel, Botwinik, Bixler, and New Hall. If the acceptance rate is lowered for next year, then where is the problem in placing these students in the same residence halls they have been in for several years? Using Forest Hills, Regency, and Savin Court may be necessary for a small population of student overflow, but underclassmen should be placed there. They are successfully living in these residence halls now and are shuttled back and forth to campus. It may seem like throwing junior and senior students off campus would be more practical because they have their own cars for transportation. Living on campus (particularly in Soundview Hall) should be a privilege. I believe junior and senior students have contributed enough of their time and money into this university to receive some sort of benefit.  I know that for many decisions made at this university, a small committee is formed where professors, staff members, and students can meet to discuss options as well as pros and cons for the decision at hand. In my opinion a committee should have been formed to discuss how this housing decision would affect the students. If a committee WAS formed, then clearly the opinions of students were not accurately portrayed. I know I am not the only student who feels that their money is going to a useless university that does not care about its students.

This housing decision was gone about in completely the wrong way.  Promises of on campus housing should not be made if they cannot be kept. The students should have been informed far in advance of these ideas so they could be involved in the decisions. The students at the University of New Haven are not happy. It is not fair to make us suffer when we are dedicating so much of our money to receiving an education. I can only hope that with so much concern, the university does something to render the terrible decisions being made.