Students voice housing fears

BY RACHEL JENKINS, ASST. NEWS EDITOR

Students on campus have voiced their opinions regarding the recently decided off-campus housing situation.
Susquehanna community members, from incoming first-years to rising seniors, have an opinion on the decision the university made earlier this month not to release students for off-campus housing in the upcoming school year.
Residence Life sent an email to all students who had applied for off-campus housing informing them of the decision not to release anyone due to the recent addition of independent-style housing and the lower numbers of enrollment for incoming classes.
Two juniors, Sydney Kehoe and Samantha Schaufler, applied to live off-campus next year and feel they are being deprived of valuable experiences by having to stay on campus.
Kehoe said: “I like [off-campus housing], because once I graduate I don’t plan on moving home. I would like the experience of not having to rely on the school and rely on myself for paying bills. Once you graduate, you are left on your own.”
Once students were informed of the decision, they took to social media and online petitions to spread the word and voice their concerns. An off-campus housing petition on ipetitions.com has received over 600 signatures and many students have shared local news articles surrounding the issue via Twitter and Facebook.
Schaufler said: “It seems like everyone is sharing articles and their opinions [on Facebook]. Everyone is using Facebook as a venting place. A lot of people feel the same way about it, and Facebook is kind of a safe way of venting about it to other students instead of faculty. It won’t necessarily change anything.”
Students, including Kehoe and Schaufler, feel at their age they should have the chance to live independently off campus.
Kehoe said: “It’s not the fact that people need to party or have something to do on Friday or Saturday nights, it’s the independence. I want to learn not to rely on the school.”
Schaufler said, “When I’m 22, I don’t want someone from the school coming in and checking my place.”
There have been several open forums over the past two weeks where students were able to voice concerns with Residence Life and receive more information on the process behind the off-campus housing decision.
Schaufler and Kehoe believe it is up to the underclassmen to stand up and voice their opinions if they want to make a change.
Kehoe said: “The fact is we’re going to be seniors. We only have a year left. I’m not going to transfer my last year. This is going to be our last year, it has to be the younger classes who have to make the change.”