University of Minnesota Housing Unfairly Prioritizes Students

Tiana Meador

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On November 9, prospective sophomores were notified by University of Minnesota housing that if they would prefer dorming, two floors of Yudof Hall are available. The more expensive option, University-owned apartments, are their best bet, however those living in the apartments this year will have priority over their application.

As of the 2017-2018 school year, Pioneer Hall was taken offline to go through an extensive and exciting renovation, however a large chunk of freshmen were displaced because of it.

Those displaced are now housed in Middlebrook Hall, Sanford Hall and Bailey Hall. Most of these students’ living placements were a result of late commitment. While Middlebrook and Sanford are around a 10 minute walk to East Bank, those placed in Bailey are left with a frustrating 25 minute ride on the Campus Connector to get to the Minneapolis campus.

This year’s freshmen are now facing more harsh realities, including inadequate ability to transfer housing, and a priority statement issued by housing completely disregarded the living situation of these students.

Freshman Windham Anez, resident of Bailey Hall, said, “I feel like they (University of Minnesota) should be placing kids where their classes will be instead of when they apply. Also, I wish it wasn’t so difficult to get out of Bailey.”

The University of Minnesota claims that accommodations can be made and housing transfers are a potential option. However, for housing transfers, the Assignment Change Request slams students with, “very few students will be able to move based on limited available spaces.”

A working student and resident of Bailey, freshman Katrina Stelk said, “I was extremely pissed at first and wondered why I’m paying so much for ‘On-Campus Housing’ if I’m 30 minutes away (from the Minneapolis campus). It is tolerable but coming back to the dorm is a hassle because there are not a lot of buses running at night.”

The buses, which run long cycles between 7:30 am to 6:30 pm, neglect the schedules of students employed on main campus. Connectors do not run until 7:00 am on weekdays and 9:30 am on weekends, therefore students required to work early are left unconsidered.

The Bailey Hall crisis is nothing new. In an article by the Twin Cities Pioneer Press in 2015, then freshman Symone McClain said, “I was really mad. I don’t think I even knew they had a St. Paul campus.”

Bailey Hall is not the least of the University’s crisis, as those placed in Middlebrook have a few of the same struggles.

Jennifer Huang, freshman living in Middlebrook Hall remarked, “I was annoyed when I first got put in Middlebrook, but it’s not too bad.” However, “It is hard to get anywhere relying on the bus system,” Huang added.

This group of freshmen have progressively began to consider their living situations as character-builders, however the priority that is being allegedly placed upon next year’s freshman and current apartment tenants is problematic.

First, there is no priority. Students will continue to be displaced, and that should be made more aware- it’s a proven trend. Next, those currently put in these dorms are neglected next year, since the U is assuming they can afford an apartment if Yudof is otherwise full. The University needs to begin to further consider the situation of students before they go upon placing priorities.