Suite Selection at California Lutheran University took place on April 23, 24 and 28 in the Lundring Event Center. Suite selection is an annual process where students have the chance to select a residence hall to live in for the incoming academic year.
Having the freedom of choosing where you want to live is not as easy as you would imagine when attending college. CLU upholds a residency policy which requires students to live on campus through their junior year, leaving only the seniors the ability to choose whether or not they want to live on or off campus.
If you wish to live off campus prior to your senior year, you have to submit a petition to the Housing Review Board for approval, many of whom get rejected.
“I decided to petition to live off campus for financial reasons,” said incoming junior Sean Hernandez. “I already sorted out my roommates and found an apartment to live in which will cost significantly less than living on campus, but I was still rejected. If they don’t repeal their rejection, I might not be able to afford to come back to CLU in the fall.”
CLU’s housing website states that “the cost of living in a CLU residence hall is significantly less expensive than many options in the area.” Contrary to what the school’s housing website states, living off campus for the majority of students is vastly cheaper.
“Paying for our apartment’s rent with my three roommates costs a lot cheaper than what I used to spend living in CLU’s dorms,” said junior Matthew Mercado. “They should be more understanding of our financial situations, especially after we already pay a lot for tuition.”
A valid reason for pushing students to live on campus, that the school argues, is to promote community-based learning and a social environment. Meeting new people is easiest when located at school, yes. But how long does the average student really need in order to experience this? After only their freshman year, most students establish their social circles and their place at the school. Quite a few will even go on to begin planning their journey of studying abroad.
As a freshman, it does make sense to live on campus to build that feeling of community. But, due to the growing population of students at CLU and the continued off campus petition rejections, even freshmen and sophomores are unable to find on campus housing.
“I think it’s very poor planning on the school’s part because they are running out of housing for sophomores, but still not letting juniors off campus,” said freshman Doug Lombardi.
Because the school makes it hard for students to live off campus, it makes it even harder for those who want to live on campus. It’s becoming more common that students don’t get their first, second or even third choice during suite selection.
“I ended up getting Potenberg, and I honestly hadn’t even considered living there,” sophomore Grace Langford said. “I don’t think it makes sense for off campus petitioners to find out if they’re approved until after suite selection is over. They are occupying spots that should go to people who are committed to living on campus.”
With all of the problems CLU is facing regarding suite selection and off campus petitioners, something has to be done in order to meet the needs of the students more efficiently.
If the school were to reassess their residency policy and allow juniors and seniors to choose where they want to live freely, more students would be able to afford to attend the school and there would be more available spaces in the residence halls on campus for underclassmen.
Published may 7, 2014