BY Krista Byrd and Bianca Lopez
Beginning in Fall 2016, priority for on-campus housing will shift from upperclassmen to underclassmen. Current residential students will be eligible to participate in the housing selection process which will be weighted by the number of fall or spring terms they have lived on campus at UT. This would mean that many upperclassmen students who have lived on campus for the majority of their time at UT would be less likely to qualify for on-campus housing.
“We believe that on-campus housing should be provided for those students who will benefit the most from the personal and community support of living on campus,” stated the UT Emergency Operations email that was sent to all students on the night of Sept 29.
This email immediately followed the Student Government meeting where Dean of Students Stephanie Russell Krebs and members of the Res Life Office announced that major changes are being made to the housing selection process beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year.
Students with fewer terms will be given higher priority, for example, freshman or transfer students will be more likely receive on-campus housing. The email states: “Due to this adjustment, current upper class students will have the opportunity to live off campus or in the Barrymore Hotel next fall.”
UT’s Off-Campus Housing Coordinator, Joe Wynn, is working to make the transition easier for students who must live off campus next semester.
There will be an open community meeting today from 2-3 p.m. in Reeves Theater with representatives from the office of the Dean of Student and office of Res Life. There will also be a meeting on Oct. 6 from 8-9 p.m. in the Brevard Community Room, and Oct. 8 from 1-2 p.m. in Reeves Theater.
Check the theminaretonline.com for continuing coverage.
Update 5:37 p.m.
At the meeting in Reeves Theater, Res Life officials announced that the buildings reserved for first-year students would be Austin, McKay, McNeel Boathouse, Morsani, Smiley, and Vaughn Center. Depending on the first year student class size, Brevard may also be used for some first-year students.
Continuing students will have the option to apply to live in Brevard, Jenkins, Palm, Straz, Urso, and Barrymore Hotel. Highest priority for housing will go to those with the lowest number of semesters on campus. For example, current freshmen (who will classify as sophomores in Fall 2016) will select their housing preferences before current sophomores and juniors.
In order to receive priority, incoming freshmen will have to meet the May 1st housing deadline. Continuing students must meet the Feb. 1st deadline and be sure to complete all steps in the housing process to be considered and claim their spots.
The Barrymore Hotel, which has held ties with the university for 17 years, will continue to take in overflow students. Based on the information gathered, The Barrymore Hotel will house a mixture of freshmen students who applied past the May 1st housing deadline and “super seniors” and other students with many semesters on campus under their belts.
With ResCom under construction in Fall 2016, roughly 140 housing spaces will be lost until the extension of Palm Apartments is complete.
During the question and answer portion of the meeting, students berated the panel. Administration seemed to lose control of the audience for a short spurt of time as students questioned the university’s ethics and priorities, among other things.
The Minaret has contacted ResLife for statements and will continue to update readers as the story develops.