During the 2013-2014 academic year, Murphy Hall, the traditional home of freshman students, will be closed for extensive renovations. The plans to renovate the residence hall have brought much questioning and speculation about Residence Life’s strategy to adapt on campus housing for the upcoming academic year.
After Fall Break this semester, the Office of Residence Life sent an email to all students notifying them of the changes that will be made (see “Out with the old,” pages 1 and 3).
Given the huge strategical task placed on Residence Life, the resolution appears to effectively address the problem of on campus housing. Still, there are steps that should be taken to make the housing process easier, given the newly limited number of rooms available.
Since students are required to live on campus for the first two years, sophomore students should be given housing priority so they are able to claim their dormitory spot and fulfill this requirement.
Assistance should be offered to those who are studying abroad during the fall semester next year to help them arrange housing before they leave the country.
Students who live near JCU should be encouraged to commute so more students from further away will have a better chance of living on campus. The University should also look into providing more parking and shuttle services for those students who plan on commuting.
For those who are able and willing to live off campus, Residence Life should collect and offer resources to help students find housing, increasing the amount of on campus rooms available.