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Mandatory two year on-campus housing

Annie Schroeder | lschroeder@radford.edu

Freshmen at Radford University should be expecting to stay on campus for one more year following the re-enforcement of the University’s on-campus housing policy. The policy states that any Radford University student who lives on campus their freshman year, is automatically enrolled to live on campus the following year unless they have applied to live off campus. While this policy has actually always been in effect, the policy was lightly enforced until now. Many dorms on campus had been being remodeled up until this past fall, the first semester in years that all resident halls are open again.

“In September we started communicating with students saying don’t sign a lease.” James Penven, the Director of Housing and Residential Life, has had a number of students come to him with questions on where they could end up next year. “We have established a criteria that allows us to say ‘who are folks that we can exempt from the process and who are folks that we can’t exempt from the process. The criteria had to be fair across the board, the factors that we would consider are age, number of credit hours, number of semesters lived on campus, and completion of the off-campus education module.”

On Feb. 14, an online petition started stating that this on-campus housing policy would “greatly impact Greek Life as a whole and our ability to fill our respective chapter houses.” The petition had over 200 signatures by the following day and has a goal of reaching 1,000 signatures. Being that the university does not allow any Greek Life chapter houses on campus, all Greek Life oriented houses are located off campus. The people who signed the petition argued that forcing sophomores to live on campus for a second year will take away from the Greek Life process, and said that living on campus can be more expensive for students.

According to the university’s website, the average cost of room and board is $7,960 to live on campus for one year as of the 2014-2015 rate that includes a variety of amenities. Priority housing is given to students who apply for on-campus housing by early January. The website also says that anyone who is deemed ineligible to live off campus may have a room selected for them if they don’t choose a preference, and will more than likely be charged room and board for the semester. As of Feb. 13, Radford hit a record high of receiving 13,291 freshmen applications to the university adding to the expanding population and class size at Radford University.

According to Penven, there are about 3,000 beds available on campus to be filled each year. Some students say that they should be able to choose whether they should live on campus or not. While other universities have similar on-campus housing policies, nearby Washington and Lee University requires its students to live on campus for 3 full years before they are eligible to move off.

Students can go on the Residential Life website and fill out a release request form that can either be approved or rejected by the University. The University says it should have room assignments for the following year out by mid-March. With applications on the rise, it is hard to tell how the reinforced housing policy will unfold.

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