Housing and Residence Life (HRL) has updated housing policies for room selection causing a stir. In the policy update, HRL has eliminated the ability to select a bed retain for on-campus residents for this semester, instead implementing a “suite retain” policy that will require students to completely fill a suite in order for them to retain it for next year.
Timothy Moran, director of Housing and Residence Life, explained the changes to room selection.
“We noticed that we were having some vacancies created by students not being asked to fill an entire suite,” Moran said. “With HRLs goal to have a near 100% occupancy every year this put us in a bad position and where we were not able to fill open/unselected beds.”
One of the primary reasons why HRL was encountering issues filling beds was not due to low demand, but due to the gender composition of suites.
“This also created some issues with our gender composition of the rooms,” Moran noted. “For example if two females select a double within a suite then that suite is now female suite and those open beds are. Then the next ones to select say again are two females and they select another suite right next door,” Moran explained.
These scenarios then result in four open bed spaces that must be female, although Moran says he may be out of female residents to fill those spots; leaving them unoccupied.
The discrepancies in filling suites are not the only reason why bed retain was taken offline, however.
According to Moran, additions being made to housing facilities are making these updates necessary. “…The Servant Leadership [program] which was housed in Turrell will now be located in Cabrini hall and we are starting an area specifically for sophomore nursing students in Xavier as well. Because of these and because it would now create an unfairness for those residents living on those floors,” Moran said.
Not all students are sold on the updated policies, however.
Spoorthi Datla, a junior criminal justice major, voiced her concerns with the changes.
“I don’t like the new policy where you can’t get a suite unless you have everyone, some people just have a roommate and not suitemates,” Datla said.
Datla, who lives in a suite with two of her friends in Cabrini Hall, is unsure of how the policy will affect others, and is concerned that this will force some people to move off campus to be with their friends, rather than trying to assemble an entire suite.
Elliott Petrilla, an RA with HRL, thinks that the new policies are beneficial and make sense. “As an RA, the updated policy only makes sense,” said Petrilla. “We already don’t have enough room for the students currently enrolled, so to ensure all bed spaces are filled, this policy has been put into place. Yes, this may require more scheduling and planning on the parts of the students, but it is only fair to those who have made their housing deposit on time.”
He thinks that these new policies are only a short term solution to a long term problem, however.
“This policy is in place to fix short term issues, yet I believe we should be focusing on the long term, looking for more or larger housing,” Petrilla concluded. “This issue of not having enough space has been an issue for years here on campus, and I believe we need to continue pursuing these means while also improving the housing we currently have.”
As the new housing policies are rolled out, residents with questions should contact their Resident Assistant for more information. It’s not clear yet as to how this will impact those who have already registered for housing, but those planning on living on-campus for the next academic year are advised to double check the updated policies to ensure that their suite is filled.
Zachary Shaw can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @Zach_Shaw_.