The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Housing horrors

Students seek the right to choose on-campus or off-campus housing

Living in the residence halls beyond the obligatory first yearhas major benefits. Sure, the infamous party-den, Boaz Hall, isoff-limits to those with sophomore standing, but nobody denies thatthe interiors of the renovated South Quad are exquisitely refined,and everyone admires the quirky yet palpable atmosphere fostered by”Shuttles Love.”

In addition to selecting among any of these communities,sophomores may hand-pick both roommate and suitemates fromfriendships that have developed during one’s first year.Incoming students may only request a roommate, and the potlucksystem is a tossup between serendipity and disaster.

Plus, RLSH signup includes the selection of an actual room, so alarge group of upperclassmen can reserve an entire hallway ifefforts are coordinated properly. Or, with a little footwork and ameasuring tape, students can easily score one of the few covetedrooms on each floor that is noticeably larger than the rest.

Most students who resist the SMU trend of renting an apartmentduring their sophomore year find the experience far superior tofreshman year. The unknowns that cause nightmares in the monthsduring a student’s first year are removed, and the all-aroundenjoyment is usually much higher.

However, regardless of how much the on-campus living experienceis enjoyed, Ed. Board feels that compelling sophomores to do so isunfair. The proposed mandate is logistically impractical andcurtails an important student freedom.

Clearly, this rule would require several additional residencehalls, an enormous expense that is not presently included in theuniversity’s future growth plan. With space quickly becominga scarce resource on the Hilltop, we feel that altering aresidency-requirement system that works well is an inadequatereason for consuming valuable land.

To forbid sophomores from living off-campus is to preventstudents from choosing to enjoy the many benefits that apartmentliving offers. Though we previously suggested reasons for wantingto live on-campus, we also understand that residing off-campus hasnumerous benefits. Accepting the responsibilities associated withapartment living, such as paying bills, is a wonderful lesson inthe personal development of college students.

Furthermore, monetary considerations compel many students toseek off-campus housing. Any non-senior residing in the residencehalls must purchase a meal plan, and in one of SMU’s greatestinjustices, every available plan costs $1710 per semester (which,naturally, will increase next year). A cash-strapped student livingoff-campus could cook a semester’s worth of (better tasting)meals for one-third that exorbitant sum.

We encourage students to reside on-campus, in residence halls orGreek houses, but we implore the University not to deny our rightto choose.

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