South Campus unsuitable for freshmen
The housing crunch that Syracuse University is experiencing may be an inevitable consequence of growing as a school, but the university’s decision to institute freshman-only housing in South Campus’ Skyhall dormitories was unfair to the students forced to live there.
Normally, upperclassmen elect to live on South Campus as a way to experience life on their own with apartment-style housing. They can escape the supervision of residence halls, cook their own food and have easy access to their cars. Freshmen who are forced into this situation have none of the same benefits, and must deal with many other aspects of South Campus living that detract considerably from the freshman experience.
They are still under the watchful eyes of Residence Advisors, still fed by the university in a retrofitted dining hall and are dependant on busses for transportation because they aren’t allowed to have cars on campus.
Spontaneous freshman experiences such as exploring Marshall Street or going to movies in Watson Hall are only possible after a lengthy bus ride, and making friends in other dorms is difficult when they live more than a mile away.
The Department of Housing claims the distribution of freshmen throughout North Campus is to promote their integration with upperclassmen, but this directly contradicts the situation they have created on South Campus.
Although the university was put in a bind by the influx of freshmen in recent years, there were better ways the situation could have been handled.
Reserving space for all freshmen in North Campus dorms would have offered them all a similar freshman experience. Sophomores would have to fill the remaining space on South Campus, but they would be better suited to life there, having established friends to block with, access to cars and an existing familiarity with the university from the prior year on North Campus.
The university cannot continue to pocket the tuition of incoming freshman and consider the implications of housing them later. It neglected its obligation to hundreds of unlucky freshmen this year by placing them in sub-par housing, and the situation must change in the future if it hopes to retain students.
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