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21 April 2013

Next year’s housing change leads to contradicting student thoughts

The housing change taking place next year made some students happy, while frustrating others, depending on where they planned their living arrangements.

Currently, the freshmen who are admitted and unable to live in the Hecht and Stanford towers due to lack of space, are placed in Mahoney or Pearson on floors that are set apart to serve the incoming freshman class. However, Eaton will be the residential college playing host to the overflow of freshman this upcoming fall.

Though I do not know the schools exact reasoning for moving the freshmen from Mahoney and Pearson to Eaton, it makes a lot of sense. It is an efficient way to serve the entire incoming freshman class to ensure that they get the most out of their first year. And, it will give them a stronger sense of community. It is definitely easier to help a specific group of students and make sure that their needs are being met if they are in the same general location.

However, this change was not common knowledge during the opt-in process, and caught some of the residents currently living in Eaton off-guard.  Students living on campus who were selected for the lottery had the option of keeping their rooms for the upcoming school year.

With the freshmen being moved from one dorm to another, there were students living in Eaton who were displaced. These students had to either move to Mahoney or Pearson, off campus, or wait to see if other people were moving out of Eaton so they could take their suites.

Eaton has the reputation of being the calmest of the five residential colleges on campus, and living in Eaton, I find that to be true. Because of its reputation, some students move to Eaton to “retire” so to speak. They want to stay on campus but they also want peace and quiet in their lives.

Though the housing department doesn’t have an obligation to inform students of changes, it would have been helpful if this information had been disclosed prior to the opt-in period. Had students been made aware of these upcoming changes, there is a possibility that they would have planned their housing differently.

Students were upset with the way this situation was addressed, and with reason. How are students supposed to make an informed decision without all of the information? Full disclosure would have been nice.

Taylor Duckett is a sophomore majoring in economics.