As students begin to scope out new rooms, decide which friend they want to live with and stare hopelessly into their savings account, it is quite obvious that housing registration is beginning in only 11 days.
An email sent out about off-campus regulations from Jeff Mackay, associate dean of students and director of Residence Life, has many students hoping that their dreams of cheaper rent and more freedom will pull through.
Mackay announced in an email that off-campus housing is now only available to students who are in their fourth year, 21 years of age prior to the start of the 2013-14 academic year, living with parent(s) or guardian(s) in their primary home of residence within 20 miles of the Linfield campus, married or in a registered domestic partnership or have a qualifying dependent living in the primary home of residence.
This is a change from the old exemption rules in which off-campus housing was determined by amount of credits.
Some students have expressed their outrage at the new exemption rules being released so late in the year. With only a month before housing registration, many students have already been making their arrangements months ago.
One student already signed a lease to live off-campus because the old exemption rules worked for this particular student. Now, the student has a house and is also forced into renting an on-campus apartment.
Other sophomore students have been taking harder and heavier credit loads in order to meet the correct number of credits for off-campus housing. However, since they will only be juniors, the new exemption requirements do not apply.
These students have worked hard to get the correct number of credits or figure out extensive financial need situations in order to live off campus and save a little money.
Linfield is an expensive school, and it would be nice if students were given a break here and there.
With little warning, it is understandable why students are so upset by the new change.
To respond to student concerns, administration has agreed that old exemption rules continue to apply to some existing situations, while the new exemption rules will apply to future situations.
If a student lived off campus this year and will not meet the new criteria, they will be allowed to continue living off campus as long as they meet the old criteria again.
Administration will be following this grandfather clause for any student who was exempt last year as a result of the financial criteria.
Hopefully, next time housing exemptions and regulations are changed, students will get a more advanced warning; otherwise, student trust and morale will continue to drop, and no one will be happy with where they are living.
-The Review Editorial Board