OPINION | Housing options fail to solve larger problems

Butler University’s freshman class of 2016 is the largest class in the university’s history.

While this is a reason for Butler to celebrate, it is also a cause for concern: the university has a housing problem.

Photo by Heather Iwinski

Student housing options, including apartments at Christian Theological Seminary and rooms at Homestead Suites, have been offered to upper classmen at the Residential College double-room rate.

Administrators did write off the Homestead Suites option due to a lack of student interest, but 59 students plus one resident assistant will live at CTS.

It is comforting that the university administration has fall-back plans when it can’t fit everybody into on-campus housing.

Still, the university should have prevented this shortfall from ever happening.

These options have been available in past housing crunches.

A hotel near the Fashion Mall at Keystone has been used, and in 2010, the university offered 40 beds in CTS as reported on the Collegian’s website in “Record class size expected for 2012-2013” (June 8).

I learned in elementary school that the importance of history is to learn from past mistakes so they are not repeated.

This basic concept should not go over the heads of Butler administrators.

Vice President for Student Affairs Levester Johnson sent out an email this past June informing the student body of the options.

In the message, he said he had reconvened the New Student Success Task Force in order to tackle the issues presented by Butler’s largest freshman class.

The task force has been convened for past largest-ever classes in 2003, 2007 and 2010.

This group’s goal is to find solutions for the problems posed by these large classes.

The task force ought to be able to stop the problems at the source after facing similar situations before.

Yet it continues resorting to the same old solutions.

Instead of giving upper-classmen the option of living in CTS or other housing, cap the number of freshmen admitted.

Or, better yet, prioritize the expansion of student housing.

“Right now, we’re at a phase and stage where we all need to work together to form a plan,” Johnson said in an interview with the Collegian.

If the planning stage is as far as the administration has gotten on expanding student housing, then Butler students can expect a struggle to find housing in the future.

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