Tom Brown-Pete Wright policy simplifies and creates difficulties

The university should be commended for attempting to simplify the process of signing up for a spot at the Tom Brown-Pete Wright apartments, but it should take certain considerations into account after it implements the new policy in the fall.

The Office of Housing and Residence Life did well in giving priority to students who have a long-term relationship with campus housing. By giving priority to students based on the number of semesters spent living on campus rather than the number of credit hours accumulated, the new policy ensures that upperclassmen have first dibs on living in Tom Brown-Pete Wright. When hours are the determining factor, underclassmen with an abundance of transfer credits can edge out an upperclassman who may be behind in hours.

However, students living in the Tom Brown-Pete Wright apartment community will be increasingly dependent upon the living decisions of their roommates because of a change in the community’s living policy. In the past, Tom Brown-Pete Wright residents who graduated in May, or who transferred or studied abroad in the fall were replaced by students from a wait list, allowing the remaining roommates to stay in their residences. The new policy requires students to find groups of four roommates to be given priority in Tom Brown-Pete Wright. While this system will understandably lessen the last-minute chaos associated with finding roommates, the new policy places an unfair responsibility on students who have no control over the decisions of their roommates. Sign-up time usually starts halfway through the spring, when many students are still uncertain about their living arrangements for the next academic year, so looking for a fourth roommate to replace one who is leaving may be difficult.

The university should be open to reviewing this policy based on student feedback after the changes are implemented.

Projects editor Courtney Jay for the editorial board.