Editorial: New Housing is a Step in the Right Direction

Beginning in the fall of 2015, the campus will see several housing changes with the opening of the South Campus apartments. The design and location of the updated residential accommodations will affect the social scene on campus in several ways.

The design of the new residences will promote a greater sense of community among students within the same class years, because many of the buildings in close proximity will be homes to similar class years; upperclassmen living is grouped together, and all-first-year dorms will also be established. Several universities already have all-freshman dorms, creating instant opportunities to meet more of your classmates. These groupings of similar class years encourages and fosters friendships for first-years and upper-class students alike.

The location of the new residences also provides several benefits to students. The South Campus residences are conveniently close to the Bertrand Library and several academic buildings where classes are held. While the residences are farther away from the Elaine Langone Center (ELC) in which all dining options are located, the University seems to have carefully noted this and has incorporated a new small dining option and a convenience store in the new South Campus buildings.

While the location may be ideal for classes, it is a point of controversy among students regarding the nightlife. South Campus is the furthest point on campus from the bars on Market Street and downtown parties, where a large portion of the student body frequents on the weekends.

In many ways, this location could benefit the social scene. Because the typical nightlife options will be farther away and more difficult to get to, there may be more parties on campus. In this way, the new residences provide another alternative to the typical downtown fraternity party or night at the bar. Parties in dorms could mean more parties that are not Greek affiliated, another social option that might appeal to students.

The new residence location could also have ramifications. While the housing will be distant, it probably will not deter most students from engaging in the nightlife downtown. The distance could result in drunk driving or other dangerous conditions. If students walk home inebriated after a night out, they are susceptible to hypothermia in the winter and vulnerable to any suspicious persons who could be anywhere on their journey home. The distance could also leave students feeling more isolated. Several students have urged the University to consider expanding the bus transportation services to run at night to resolve these issues. Providing transportation from South Campus to Market Street during nighttime hours does not encourage drinking but rather protects the students who choose to engage in those activities.

These concerns set aside, it is an exciting opportunity to live in and have access to brand new facilities.

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