Dorm crowding needs a solution
September 28, 2007
Growth of the UW-River Falls student body has been exceptional in recent years. Every year it seems the University sets a new record for its largest student body ever. While it is logical that UWRF should grow along with western Wisconsin (according to the U.S. Census Bureau St. Croix County is the fastest growing in the state), changes should be made in some of the residence life housing policies to better serve students who live on campus.
UWRF’s ten residence halls house approximately 40 percent of the student body, or 2,400 students, according to UWRF’s residence life Web page.
According to the UWRF extended housing Web page, students living in extended housing are put into one of three living situations: bunking with a residence assistant, living in a repurposed double room or living in a study lounge. According to Amy Johnson, residence life office manager, only the revamped study lounges and residence assistants’ rooms are currently being used. There are currently 111 students living in extended housing, 90 of which are living in study lounges in seven of the residence halls, Johnson said.
These options have their disadvantages, both for those in extended housing, and for the other students living in the residence halls.
Take, for example, the students living in study lounges. Everyone on that floor has to live with the crowding. Students who want a quiet place in their residence hall don’t have a place to go when their roommate is being too loud or they just want to be alone.
The extended housing problem is compounded by the fact that there are currently ten open spots in the South Fork Suites.
Students who live in the Suites have strict criteria they have to meet: students must either be 21 or older, have completed two years of college or completed more than 60 credits. While most sophomores have not met any of those stipulations, why must we penalize them by putting them in a room with five other people?
Sophomores who demonstrate some level of maturity in their freshman year should be allowed to live in the Suites if there is space available. Maybe we can consider sophomores’ cumulative GPA in lieu of the original requirements.
While there are only ten open spots, allowing sophomores into those spots would represent a 10 percent decrease in the number of students in extended housing.
Regardless of which course of action we take, we need to be sure that something is done to make better use of the available space, so students can have an improved living and learning experience at UWRF.