By Cassy Sottile and Erica Quinones
Housing policies for Washington College students are changing.
The administration is currently updating their housing policies so that the College becomes a four-year residential institution.
In his Oct. 30 email, President Kurt Landgraf said that the decision was made partially due to the College’s financial considerations, but also because of “the value of a full four-year residential experience and how it supports students’ education and a more cohesive community.”
While he believes that moving all students on campus would create a better experience, the College does not currently have the facilities to complete the task.
There are currently 196 students living off-campus, according to Landgraf. However, there are 150 empty beds remaining.
“Washington College I believe would be better off if this became a four-year on campus residential experience,” Landgraf said.
Most other liberal arts colleges have that policy, according to Landgraf.
In order to accomplish full-time student residency, the College needs to face the issues “about dormitories that are not up to the standard that would make people comfortable, healthy and safe,” Landgraf said.
The College must also address living necessities like food. According to Landgraf, they must assure that students of varying dietary restrictions have access to appropriate food in the dining hall.
The policy is moving forward by updating the current admissions literature to reflect the changes to housing policies. WC will inform prospective students about the new four-year residential plan. These changes were made this year.
The decision to change the housing policies is not without controversy.
Landgraf said that updating off-campus residential policies for current students is unfair, especially for rising seniors. Because they arrived on campus with the expectation of living off-campus their senior year, with the appropriate grade point average and social standing, the College is re-examining the proposed residential changes for next year, according to the Oct. 30 email.
Residential Life will communicate with current juniors living off-campus to plan for the next academic year. Their off-campus residential applications will be expedited as long as they are in good academic and social standing, according to Landgraf. In the Oct. 30 email, Landgraf said updates on the housing policies will be sent out before the end of the semester.