Student housing floweth over

It’s not like the freshmen are relegated to cots on the basketball courts of Simon Recreation Center. Yet, in the midst of moving in one of the largest freshman classes in their history, SLU finds itself with a serious housing overflow.

So far, many students have been placed in temporary off-campus residences like Manresa Center. In some cases, Housing and Residence Life has even violated their own rules and put freshmen in upperclassman housing. SLU intends to acquire more outside property to cope with the overwhelming number of students, but it is still too little, too late.

Housing problems create undue stress, especially for students unfamiliar with the area and attempting in vain to feel comfortable; it is difficult to put down roots in a new university setting when it isn’t even clear if you will be in your initial residence over the coming weeks. Classes are difficult enough. Making friends is nerve-wracking enough. All is intensified when students have to relocate before they land in a permanent situation-the added burden of trucking boxes across campus is one that shouldn’t have to be born.

The burden of the overflow falls most heavily on international students, who are the last to arrive because of the processes involved in getting a passport and visa, yet who would theoretically have the hardest time adjusting.

Housing and Residence life is doing an admirable job amid all the pandemonium; they are placing students in dorms and apartments on par with the rest of student housing, and there is room to spare. They are also only charging students the bare minimum for housing, and provide meals and transportation services.

Nevertheless, SLU has known for months the size of the freshman class. There shouldn’t be such a scramble to find housing for all of the incoming students. Plans should have been made ahead of time that don’t require last-minute assignments that result in upperclassmen unexpectedly finding new roommates on their doorsteps (to the pain of both parties) or numbers of students housed off-campus with no idea when they will find themselves in a permanent situation. The fact that sophomores will now be required to live on campus instead of finding apartments only exacerbates the problem.

Everybody is doing their best in a bad situation, and it’s commendable. It’s unfortunate that SLU hasn’t had the time or done the necessary planning to place the copious amounts of incoming students before classes began.