HRC addresses housing issues

Although all incoming freshmen are required to live on campus during their first year at the University, Housing and Residential Communities has begun to make changes to the way returning students are accommodated in the residence halls.

HRC has also changed the move-in and room selection process this year to assist in placing incoming freshmen. The room selection process was completed entirely online, with freshmen being able to self-select their rooms. The new system also required freshmen to schedule a move-in time as a way of alleviating the confusion on move-in day in August.

High demand for on-campus housing this year has also forced HRC to make changes to the residence halls students will live in this fall. The Highlands, for example, will be open again this fall after demand for on-campus housing required HRC to cancel the building’s demolition, which was previously scheduled for this summer.

Alicia Browne, associate director for assignments, information and communication, said, despite high demand, there is enough space in campus housing for all incoming freshmen.

“All freshmen are assigned to on-campus housing at this time,” Browne said. “We have always placed some students in Blount Hall who are not Blount scholars and [we have] also [placed students] in other honors dorms although they may not be honors students. This year we did have to place some students in overflow rooms in Tutwiler, but these students are welcome to change their room assignment once they are on campus in the fall.”

In years past, HRC has found it necessary to place unassigned freshmen in residence halls designated for specific campus organizations such as Friedman and Palmer Halls.

Although the Mallet Assembly currently occupies Palmer, there is always a chance that freshmen may be assigned there if the space is needed, Browne said. HRC tries to assign these rooms to students who meet the various eligibility requirements, she said.

“Earlier in the summer, we spoke with Mallet about the importance of recruiting freshmen. We also have assisted in their efforts by printing their fliers, sending out their e-mail to incoming students, and in other ways. Because Malletteers reside in a university residence hall, we always have the ability, if needed, to assign non-Malletteers to Palmer,” Browne said.

 “At this time, we have not needed to do so, but Palmer is, of course, University housing. We continue to support Mallet’s efforts to recruit incoming freshman members, as we do with all living-learning communities.”

Spencer Carter, president of the Mallet Assembly, said that Mallet did not oppose the possibility of non-Mallet freshmen being assigned to Palmer since Mallet is still part of the University.

“As of right now, there are no freshmen assigned to live in Mallet. At one point in the summer, housing was considering it, but with the opening of more dorms to freshmen we weren’t really needed.”

Dexter Peeples, a senior majoring in special education, thinks the entire housing process is beneficial both to the students placed in living learning communities, and to the students already residing there.

“Placing students in living-learning communities who have not selected a room is a great way for these students to meet new people, learn about the University and their major,” he said. “I do think that these students should take the process more seriously but I also think that housing is doing the best they can to satisfy these students.”

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