Juniors face major changes with next year’s housing lottery

Aubrey Zych, Co- News & Features Editor

 

In an effort to increase campus community and work towards Le Moyne’s educational missions, as well as hold the standards in Le Moyne’s Student Handbook to its word, Campus Life and Leadership announced last week that, starting next year, they would not be offering off-campus housing to seniors.

Members of the class of 2014 received an email last week from John Haley, director of Campus Life and Leadership, informing them of the new change to the housing lottery for next year. According to Haley, in the past, very few seniors were granted permission to live off campus because of the increases in enrollment. In general, though, as a residential campus, Haley says the Le Moyne student handbook asks that all residential students live on campus.

The email also explained that a housing committee within Campus Life and Leadership agreed that students living on campus was vital to Le Moyne’s educational mission.

“We provide many educational and social programs to our students [on campus],” Haley said. “The residential experience is also designed to facilitate the intellectual and moral development of students, and attempts to provide students with learning opportunities that focus on self-awareness, interpersonal relations and cross-cultural understanding.”

The housing committee that made the changes to the lottery this year is made up of about 20 students from various class years and Ann Bersani, associate director of Campus Life and Leadership.

However, many members of the class of 2014 feel as though their voice was not heard in the decision process.

“Well, I was certainly never asked,” junior Brendan Copeland said. “It seems to me as though the college is trying to enforce decisions on kids.”

“I think students absolutely did not have a fair say in this decision at all,” junior Julia Duff added. “I think if students had a fair say, off-campus living would not only be offered senior year but before that. This type of action is unheard of at other schools and it is extremely obvious what the school is trying to do, regardless of the lies they try to promote and cover it up with.”

Kathryn Raike, a junior, says she never knew the topic was even up for discussion.

“It was not made known to the public they were even thinking about it,” she said. “There should have been an open meeting where students could go and tell the administration their opinion. It is our lives they are handling with so we should have a say.”

Many juniors also expressed their concern for living space next year if every residential student is living on campus.

Dan Snyder, a junior, suggested the college look into improving and building more dorms.

“If Campus Life wants to keep people on campus as much as possible, they should think about purchasing space for more on-campus housing or build a new dorm for students,” he said. “It is becoming very cramped and certain conditions seem unlivable, especially for freshmen.”

“Forcing even more seniors to live on campus is only going to make this cramped housing even worse,” Duff added.

Haley explained that the housing committee has taken these complaints into consideration, and has confirmed that there will be enough dorms for everyone next year. Campus Life and Leadership will only offer an off-campus housing lottery as a backup plan should enrollment increase and dorms fill up.

“As a residential campus, Campus Life and Leadership is committed to providing the best possible housing accommodations to our students at the most competitive rates possible,” Haley said. “However, we will continue to monitor our housing needs. Campus Life and Leadership will implement an off-campus housing lottery if necessary.”

However, not all students are satisfied with Campus Life and Leadership’s decision, and some are even looking for loopholes in the system. Liza Roman, a junior, pointed out that many students who live on campus but are from the Syracuse area may “fake commute,” or tell the college that they are commuting from their parents’ home, when they really have an off-campus apartment or house.

“There is no way that all seniors will live on campus next year,” she said. “They will only try to find more ways to live off campus without permission from Campus Life.”

According to Haley, those students who decide to live off-campus without permission of the college will still be charged with room and board fees for the semester.

This year’s housing lottery will take place next March. Students with questions or concerns about the new on-campus housing lottery or any other issue related to housing or campus activities are asked to contact the Campus Life and Leadership Office at (315) 445-4520.