By Andrew Kutzer
KU’s on-campus housing policy, requiring first and second year students to live on campus, was submitted for review by the president on March 25.
At an SGB meeting on Feb. 16, housing director Kent Dahlquist announced that the policy was proposed for fall 2017. A decision on the policy is expected before July but can be made by the president at anytime, according to Dahlquist.
“It could be as early as this week. The president and cabinet could make a decision whenever they’re ready to review the information and feel they have everything they need,” said Dahlquist.
The policy would apply to all new students with under 60 credits, requiring them to live on campus. Transfer students without enough earned credits from their previous university would fall under the requirement.
“Based on 33 years [of] experience, I think it’s a good direction to go right now. I think providing our students with as much structure their first two years at college will be beneficial to them,” said Dahlquist.
Currently, 90 percent of freshmen and around 55 percent of second year students live on campus. If the policy were in place, the campus would see 600 more second year students residing on campus. The remaining students commute or reside off campus, according to Dahlquist.
The policy includes the creation of a exceptions committee to hear cases that may fall out of the listed exemptions for the requirement. The committee would include members from housing and residence life, enrollment management and student affairs, the office of student accounts, the office of financial aid services
and the student government board, according to Dahlquist.
Currently, listed exceptions include:
• Married students
• Part-time students
• Students that are single parents
• Honorably discharged military veterans
• University approved leave of absence
• Internships that earn university credits
• Participating in a university sponsored study away program
• Verification of financial hardship
• Non-degree students
• Graduate students
• Disabled students that can’t be accommodated in on-campus housing
• Students having a zip code within a 30-mile radius of KU
• Students over 21
Presentations on the policy were held on March 22 and 24 in the Dixon Hall conference room. “The biggest concern was that if a student didn’t fall under an exception how it was going to be handled,” said Dahlquist.
“Once students saw there was an exceptions committee that would review student requests and that it wasn’t front loaded with housing staff, they seemed okay with it,”said Dahlquist.
SGB approved a resolution against the policy in a 2-3 majority at its meeting on March 15. Board members brought up issues of financial cost along with physical and dietary restrictions before voting against the housing policy, according to board member Waskar Paulino.