A series of unfortunate events

Why CNU third-years should be allowed to live off- campus

When you poll CNU students about what the worst things about attending CNU are, in some form or another, they usually mention registration, parking and housing. 

While registration is built on a “first come, first serve” basis and the university is attempting to create more parking, housing is one aspect that CNU has no idea what they are doing. 

Thus, welcome to my TED Talk on how the housing dilemma was born.

One of the biggest issues is and always has been the housing lottery. Everyone has their own horror stories of not getting where they wanted or becoming “homeless.” 

This year’s upperclassmen lottery, however, was one of the worst. By 10 a.m. of the first day, all two and three person rooms were gone. By 12 p.m., all upperclassmen four person housing was gone. 

To make matters worse, the housing system crashed, and people got locked out of their time slots. The people who got homes were the ones who physically ran to CNU Hall first. This lottery literally became the “Hunger Games,” but the odds were in no one’s favor. 

As a result, many rising juniors are without housing that they were “guaranteed” to get.

To try to find more housing, CNU is now creating double-occupancy rooms in Rappahannock River Hall. The dream of not having a roommate that every freshman looks forward to is now crushed for countless juniors and seniors. This perk is what drives a lot of people to CNU, and it is now obsolete. 

Somehow, it even made the housing lottery worse. With more five person suites, most rooms were unable to be filled because of students entering the lottery with the standard four students. Most were unaware of this and were thrown off by the change.

While there has always been juniors in James River Hall, CNU is now placing leftover upperclassmen students in Warwick, the residence hall with the “prestige” of being sophomores only. With the freshman classes getting bigger each year and slowly taking over Potomac River Hall, where are these sophomores supposed to live? The Alumni House?

But breaking news! CNU says they are making a new senior residence hall. This great new housing will hold over 200 students and will be open in 2020! Construction starts in March… of last year? 

If you recall, while there is construction on campus, it’s not the proposed “Shenandoah Hall.” That contract was terminated sometime last year  with no announced replacement. 

As a result, students have picked up the campaign for more housing, and CNU is tearing down the old CNU Crossing to build new apartments. This will add almost 80 additional beds in the future, but for now, it is a lot of rooms we will be without for this upcoming year.

While CNU is great about talking about the future with building plans and press conferences, they need a solution that can be put into effect now.

One potential solution is making the required years of living on-campus only two years. Many students want to be able to live in their house with their own rules; we should let them. Most other colleges allow students to live off campus after just their freshman year anyway. 

It’s great to have a lot of students live in CNU housing for the “campus life” feel, but we just do not have the housing for it yet. 

Another solution would be not letting as many students retain as upperclassmen. Currently, seniors are not guaranteed housing, but most seniors stay. For seniors without housing requirements or accommodations, there should be more strict regulations. This would allow for more students who are actually guaranteed housing to have housing. 

Just these two changes would create a significant number of room openings in upperclassmen housing. 

Rappahannock and East campus would remain junior and senior housing for those who can’t afford rent or PLP students required to stay (although, living off campus without the PLP scholarship is sometimes cheaper than living on campus with it). 

Sophomores can now actually have the rooms meant for them in JR and Warwick. That leaves the freshman with Santoro, York and Potomac. This could even resolve all the frustrating tripling of so many freshmen rooms.

So please CNU, change the housing regulations. Enough talk of how things will get better in the future. We need change now. CNU is our home, and we should be able to actually live here.

~Vivianna Atkins, Staff Writer~

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