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EDITORIAL: Off-campus challenges

Guide students in transition

Published: Monday, March 5, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 02:03

As part of the ongoing strategic planning process, the University is considering incorporating off-campus housing into its residential system for undergraduate and possibly graduate or faculty use. While this board appreciates that the University is seeking to address the growing issues with on-campus housing, we also urge the University to show increased concern for students already living off-campus.

Without the trouble of signing a lease or paying for utilities, expanding University housing into Waltham could be a more convenient solution for students seeking a more independent living situation. We are concerned, however, about the effect the higher cost of University-owned housing will have on rental rates for the surrounding the area. Before purchasing off-campus housing, the University needs to consider these unknown consequences.

We also encourage the University to direct more attention to students currently off campus. Though these students have the assistant director for operations and housing to serve as a liaison between them and the administration and students, the University should further involve itself by expanding its resources for off-campus students.

Currently, the University has an online guide to off-campus housing and also provides a link for a website where available apartments in are listed. However, we feel these resources are underutilized and have not been well-publicized. In addition to these resources, the University could provide increased, direct rental guidance and help students find available apartments. By expanding these resources, opening up communication and actively guiding students in the transition to off-campus housing, the University will better serve the entirety of its student body.

While the University is exploring how to expand the housing options for our growing population, we urge it to better promote and expand the resources it already provides. The University will eventually have to address the housing deficit created by growing student body, but they should carefully consider the possible issues that would arise from purchasing off-campus housing.

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