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Finding affordable housing close to campus is often a difficult task, one that everyone dreads at the end of each year. You have to find roommates, set up utilities, figure out parking, look for a co-signer….The list goes on and on.
For this reason many upper classmen found Vista del Campo, which takes care of everything for you, a sweet relief to the great housing crisis.
Unfortunately, so did Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Housing Bill Zeller.
On Oct. 20 current residents of VDC and VDC Norte, were notified by e-mail that, like it or not, their lease would end in summer 2007 in order to make room for next year’s sophomore class.
Now I’m not too sure how the residents of VDC or VDC Norte feel about the sudden change in their housing status, but I would imagine that many of the second- and third-year students might not be too happy with it. I know I would be upset if Parkwest suddenly told me that I had to move out in order to make room for another family.
It is understandable that the university wants to attract more students to their programs in order to build prestige, but wouldn’t it be wiser to take care of the current students first? After all, we are the ones who tell high school students which universities to attend and which to avoid.
Not that there is anything wrong with living in an apartment off-campus; I’ve done so for the last three years, but it does seem unfair to ask students to move out because of a promise that should not have been made in the first place.
If housing has been expecting the number of enrolled students to increase, then why would they even think of offering an extra year of housing for new students?
According to Zeller, the longer a student lives in a campus community, the more he or she will know about the various services provided, school functions and a better peer network.
Here Zeller’s words ring true. If you are on campus longer, you not only have a better sense of what is going on, but you also have a wider peer network since you see your fellow classmates on a regular basis.
I’ll admit that in my first year I talked to far more people than I talk to now. Why is that? The answer is that once you move out of the dorms, everyone goes their separate ways.
Some move to Campus Village, others go to VDC, and the rest find a home at an apartment complex as close to campus as possible.
People get caught up in their own little worlds, and the friends you thought you made your first year vanish into thin air.
So perhaps Zeller has a point. A second year of housing in a tightly knit community would strengthen ties students made their first year.
However, this does not justify the nearly complete removal of upper classmen from VDC. Students depended on VDC’s worry-free systems of signing a lease for their own room.
There are more important things to worry about then finding three or four people to share rooms with. If housing wishes to grant freshmen two years of housing, then they should make sure that they aren’t putting thousands of students in a difficult situation.

Elizabeth Rico is a fourth-year English major.

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