Next year’s junior class just finished its housing lottery. And some people didn’t hit the jackpot.
For the second year in a row, several students found themselves on a waitlist.
The same scenario has occurred in years past, and the resolution promised by administrators to these students never seems to come.
Butler University has seen several record-breaking classes in the past few years.
While growing classes can benefit Butler in many ways, the growth presents new challenges.
The university must address the housing shortage if it wants to continue growing.
Apartment Village filled up with seniors, who got first pick, and then incoming juniors.
The overflow of students pushed sophomores out of University Terrace, and the sophomores then filled Residential College and spilled over into Schwitzer and Ross Halls.
The administration likely has major plans in the works right now for various campus improvement opportunities.
But Butler needs to address the housing shortage as soon as possible.
Housing affects nearly every student—especially when freshmen through juniors are normally required to live on campus.
New housing for freshmen would help more than the current crunch. It will help by attracting prospective students. The university stands to gain more money and more notoriety from bigger classes.
Alternatively, poorly maintained or unattractive housing could drive touring students away.
The university has a few short-term choices to make, obviously.
To address the current crisis, the university needs to find more places to put the already enrolled students.
But looking forward, patches will not suffice.
Room and board are set to increase this coming academic year.
Yet new housing facilities will not appear in the fall.
The housing issue will not resolve itself.
In fact, short of long-lasting solutions—new buildings—Butler appears to be out of options.
Growth means a lot of good things for the future: newer buildings, more professors and degrees that carry even more prestige.
But first, we have to find somewhere for our current students to go.