By Rhyan Henson
There is a simple solution to fixing Butler’s housing problem: allow juniors to live off campus.
Butler’s housing is systematically flawed, and it is a money grab for the school.
If juniors had the opportunity to live off campus, students could potentially save themselves thousands of dollars in housing fees and reduce the crowding amongst the residential areas designated for underclassmen.
This would also open up more room in Ross and Schwitzer Halls and the Residential College.
Some students say they feel like the school is taking advantage of students long before they ever commit to being Butler students.
“It comes down to an abuse of power by the school,” said sophomore David Eldrige, a second-year resident of Ross Hall. “They recruit us as freshmen coming in here guaranteeing us that we are going to improve our living circumstances year by year.”
Seeing that only 30 sophomores have to live in Ross Hall and a handful live in Schwitzer for a second year in a row, Butler comes up short on this guarantee.
Eldridge said that school’s refusal to let students live off campus and live cheaper is the university’s way of making more of a profit.
The housing lottery is a big reason some sophomores are displaced. Liberating an entire class from having to live on campus will make the lottery obsolete and ensure students will live in the areas that were advertised to them when they were prospective students.
Levester Johnson, vice president for student affairs, said the university has plans to renovate Ross and Schwitzer. The vacating of rooms in these halls would allow the university to quickly and efficiently renovate the rooms and areas in these halls.
As Butler gains more national recognition, more students will apply to come to the university. The school will not only have a better housing system, but the residential facilities will be excellent.
The freshman residential halls will no longer be seen as an eyesore and a drawback, but as a selling point for prospective students.
Director of Residence Life Karla Cunningham said installing air conditioning units is not too expensive. Residence Life officials are concerned with the buildings’ ability to handle the power needs of these units.
During these renovations, the university could take out a few rooms and transform that space into more community space, because there will not be a need to have as many rooms if there will be less people living in the residential hall.
Additional study rooms could be really beneficial, to students who study late into the night.
Giving juniors permission to live off campus will thin out the population of other housing facilities and eliminate the need for Butler to use Christian Theological Seminary. All students that are currently living in CTS would be put back into one of the primary dorms.
Allowing juniors to live off campus will reduce the crowding in the dormitories and make current students happier as a whole, Eldridge said.
Allowing juniors the option to live off campus might empty out residence halls in the short term and in the long run, the school will benefit from this change.