STAFF EDITORIAL | Housing trouble for juniors

One of the biggest decisions students make is where they will be living during their four years of college.

Butler makes that decision decidedly more limited by requiring students to either live on campus through their junior year, or commute.

Starting next year, non-Greek juniors will have one option—the Apartment Village, unless they can prove financial need.

According to Dr. Levester Johnson, Vice President for Student Affairs, the housing policy is clearly listed in the student handbook.

“University Terrace is still considered an option for juniors who petition on ‘financial need’ and remains a sophomore housing option, as well. This rule has been part of the university’s housing policy since the Apartment Village was completed in 2006.”

We here at The Butler Collegian feel it is a flawed policy and that students should be given more living options their junior year.

The people most affected by this policy are the students who chose not to join a Greek house, and those that do not have the option to live in the chapter house during their junior year.

However, with larger incoming freshman classes, it is likely that there will be an increase in those who choose to rush and look to live in the Greek Houses.

“Considering the outcome of formal recruitment, only 39.6 percent  of our first year class affiliated this year, compared to 34.9 percent in 2010,” According to Becky Druetzler, Director of Greek life. “Actually,  2010 was a down year for recruitment for whatever reason, we don’t know why. it had been 37 percent in 2009.”

In turn, this could create an  overflow in the Greek system, displacing an increasing number of students.

“Chapters are evaluating carefully right now their procedures for determining who lives in and who lives out,” Druetzler said.

On campus housing includes Ross Hall, Schwitzer Hall, Residential College, University Terrace and the Apartment Village.  Greek houses are considered to be on campus as well.

This past year, students who are living in single rooms in the Apartment Village paid $7,860 in living expenses for nine month leases.

The fact that juniors are only given this one option, which is exceedingly expensive, is unfair and unacceptable.

There are cheaper housing options on campus.

For example, the University Terrace is $5,770 for students who decide to share rooms and live there.

Living off campus is even cheaper.

For a four-bedroom house on Clarendon Place, a single room costs approximately $4,440 for 12 months, including the cost of utilities, according to a copy of a Butler student’s 2011-12 lease from MM Weighbright LLC.

These new limited housing options are forcing some students to transfer simply because they can no longer afford to live on campus.

“The vast majority of [my friends] cannot afford to live in Apartment Village and will probably have to transfer schools because we don’t live close enough to commute,” said sophomore Heather Iwinski in an article in last week’s issue of The Butler Collegian.

We recognize Butler is trying to accommodate larger classes, but this should be done without sacrificing the satisfaction of older students who were counting on more flexible housing options. When we pay private school tuition, the university should work to make housing more affordable.

Another private institution that Butler is comprable to is Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

With an undergraduate presence of roughly 3,000 students, Drake has a more liberal housing policy that favors students.

According to their website, Drake only requires that freshmen and sophomores live on campus, while allowing juniors and seniors to live off campus.

This makes us balk even more at the idea that Butler requires us to live on campus for our junior year, just to fill their most expensive housing option.