Rowan University’s upperclassmen students found themselves unable to select housing in several spots on campus this week including the Townhouse complex, Edgewood Park Apartments and Rowan Boulevard Apartments. The difficulties resulted from a change in housing recently unveiled by Rowan.
Travis Douglas, the assistant vice president for residential learning and inclusion programs at Rowan, said the policy adjustment came from the increased number of students being accepted and applying for housing.
Douglas noted that in total, 673 more students applied for housing in 2017 than in 2016, which put a strain on the number of beds available for students.
“There has been an increase in the number of students picking rooms, particularly rising freshmen going through room selection for their sophomore housing,” he said in an email. “That results in increased demand for university space because we have a mandatory housing policy for freshmen and sophomores. Based on this policy, we must reserve sufficient space in university housing for freshmen and sophomores.”
As for why juniors and seniors are being directed towards apartments in the area near the 220 On the Boulevard apartments, Douglas explained that due to the school’s higher acceptance rate, the decision was made to begin directing upperclassmen to register for university-affiliated housing to ease the burden for on-campus facilities.
Despite the explanation, student reaction to the policy has been mostly negative. Sarah Camp, a junior journalism major, said the new living arrangements are a financial burden on her.
“My plan was to live in Edgewood because it’s close to everything and it’s cheap,” Camp said. “But the school won’t let me live there since I’m a senior. Me and the girls I want to live with got screwed over by this change, because now we have to pay almost $900 dollars more a semester and a $500 security deposit.”
Currently, Camp is deciding to live in the new A3 building across from 301 High Street next year.
Michael Bornstein, a junior secondary education major, said townhouse was his first choice, but he was thrown a curveball at registration.
“I personally had the first appointment time [to select a room] on Monday, [March 27], and Townhouses wasn’t listed,” Bornstein said.
He said that he and his roommate group were a disappointed with the way this program was rolled out.
“I’m not going to say it’s a horrible problem,” Bornstein continued. “But I personally am very annoyed because it’s like Rowan didn’t even communicate with the students, it just happened where it’s like, ‘Freshmen are going to live here, sophomores are going to live here,’ and so on and so forth.”
Bornstein said that he doesn’t completely understand why the decision was made, especially since any seniors on campus have normally had the ability to select from the full range of housing options.
“I’m not upset personally with 220 [On the Boulevard],” he said. “Me and my friends are really pretty excited for it. But when I went to register I was honestly in shock, and was left wondering why Townhouses wasn’t available.”
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