In response to the budget issues at Lake Forest College, the College Council has been discussing possible solutions to fill the $350,000 hole. One of these proposed solutions is to raise our school’s three-year residency requirement so that every student must remain in on-campus housing for their entire career as a student.
This new requirement would limit our freedom as students at Lake Forest College. This would strip students of their choice on where they would like to live and limit these options to the 10 residence halls located on campus.
Students raised concerns to the Committee, who learned that the off-campus housing atmosphere creates a type of familial bond between residence; however, this is not even the start of why Lake Forest College needs to leave their residency requirement the way it is.
Our residence halls are outdated. In the minutes from the Feb. 21 meeting, it states “to pursue this [idea], we might need some increased spending to make residences more attractive,” which is an understatement if I ever heard one. Take a look at Gregory Hall, for example. Earlier in March, the glass on the side door was shattered, and costs for it were divvied up between all residents. Their front door also has a problem where you don’t even need a key to get in. You can just pull on the door.
The showerheads in the community bathrooms during the beginning of the semester went missing, too. Heaters have broken down, leaving students freezing in their buildings until FacMan can come to the rescue. There has even been reports of students moving out of the Gregory Hall and into newer buildings like Moore Hall, citing medical concerns of the conditions of in their current dormitory by their doctors.
Many of the dorm buildings haven’t seen nearly as many renovations as they should have, especially if the school’s new intentions are to house 100% of the student body happily. We can’t even get student government to put water fountains in all of our residence halls. Do you really think we will be seeing any sort of renovations being done that can really make a difference? After all, did you know that Blackstone, Harlan, and Lois hall are all more than 100 years old? And even in new buildings like Moore Hall, we still have the air conditioner shut down at least twice a year. When the buildings haven’t been updated in years and there are frequent problems with the buildings and its amenities, isn’t it only right to give students the option to seek housing somewhere else?
Students should have the right to choose. If they do not want to live on campus for their senior year, they shouldn’t have to. As we grow older, we begin making choices for ourselves as adults. We are no longer being treated like adults if we are forced to live somewhere we don’t want to. When Lake Forest College decided to take away apartment-style housing for students on South campus, it hurt pretty bad, but this is just an injustice.