The University of Wisconsin Stout’s Board of Regents Policy states:
“Those freshman and sophomore students (59 credits or less) who are not veterans, married or living with parents or legal guardian (within a 40-mile radius of Menomonie) shall be required to live in a university-operated residence hall when such accommodations are available.”
This policy is both unreasonable and demanding. While most first year students at the University of Wisconsin-Stout choose to live on-campus for their first year, many feel that they would be better suited to live off-campus. The problem is – they don’t have a choice.
If you take a look at some of the pros and cons of living off-campus, it’s easy to see why students might prefer those living arrangements.
PROS OF OFF CAMPUS LIVING
• Independence/Freedom – Most residence halls have rules that students must abide by. Living off campus gives students the freedom to set their own rules. This also means that students can have friends and family over to visit any time they want. Students can come and go as they please as well as not have to worry about moving out at the end of each year.
• Privacy – Living off-campus means having your own bedroom. Alone time is crucial to any person’s daily routine. The extra space also means that you can find a quiet place to study in the comfort of your own home.
• Sense of Responsibility – Living off-campus requires students to become more responsible because they will now be in charge of paying their own bills, cleaning house, cooking, grocery shopping, etc. While most universities give students limited access to appliances, living off-campus gives students full accessibility.
• A Break from Campus – Most students that live on-campus spend the majority of their time there going to class, participating in extracurricular activities, eating most of their meals, etc. A place away from the chaos of these social surroundings can be very beneficial.
• Fewer Distractions – The frequent noise pollution from a college dorm can be a distraction to student’s trying to do schoolwork. The combination of frequent visits from friends and blaring music from neighbors is not conductive to productivity. A social life becomes inescapable. Fewer distractions can lead to better grades.
For more advantages, please take a look at this article:
CONS OF OFF-CAMPUS LIVING
• Transportation – Obviously, living off-campus puts students further away from their classes. Driving to class can become a hassle because they need to be able to schedule their time wisely as well as try to find a parking spot on university grounds. However, there is an exception to this con. Students that live off-campus, but are still in close vicinity can just as easily walk to campus or take a bus.
• Isolation – If a student lives off-campus, they may be less involved with campus activities. This could cause students to feel a sense of detachment. Again, there is an exception to this con. Students who wish to be involved can still go to campus on their own time.
• Security – Living off-campus can give students a lack of security. Most universities have policies regarding what time doors will be locked as well as easy access to help in an emergency.
• Lower Accessibility to Campus Resources – Living further from campus makes it harder for students to use the universities facilities such as the library, gym, or counseling center.
Now that you’ve seen some of the pros and cons of off-campus living, I would like to talk about costs. Most people probably think that the cost of living on-campus would be cheaper than living off-campus. This is not always the case. In some cases, students can save money by living off-campus depending on how much rent they have to pay as well as how much they decide to spend on food, clothing, or their own personal expenses. I would not consider cost to be a pro or a con. Costs can vary depending on the situation.
So the real problem here is not whether living off-campus can be beneficial, but the fact that UW-Stout forces freshman and sophomores to live on-campus. In a time of economic uncertainty and climbing student debt, how can the University of Wisconsin-Stout pursue policies that have the potential to cost students more money, not to mention their own freedom?
This petition closed over 2 years ago
By signing this petition, you agree that students should be given the right to choose whether or not to live on campus during their freshman and sophomore years of college.