Tulane Should Scrap Its Housing Requirement

Edwin Wang, Contributing Reporter

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Yacob Arroyo | Contributing Artist

With the housing application reopening for the 2019-20 academic year, a question that often puzzles Tulane students resurfaces: Why does Tulane require first- and second-year students to live on campus?

As college affordability continues to haunt students across the nation, a mindblowing 47 percent increase in housing prices at the average American university in recent years has done nothing but exacerbate this problem.

When considering $9,010 of the $74,860 Tulanians pay in tuition every year is for room alone, the number feels a bit like a rip-off since students are paying the same amount for half of a 12-by-15 room as they could be paying to split the rent of an entire house.

Of course, there are arguments for mandating underclassmen to live on campus. The advantages of living on campus include vicinity to classes or important facilities like Bruff Commons or Reily Student Recreation Center, having a community to mingle with and maintaining a sense of belonging while many students are miles away from home.

Despite these advantages, the issues surrounding Tulane’s residence halls are endless and complicate student life quality. Whether it is the outdated condition of the bathrooms, musty air quality or the inability to control room temperature in many of Tulane’s residence halls, these complications create an inevitable headache for all Tulane students.

Indeed, many of the living conditions for students, specifically freshmen, are an accepted part of the way of life as a Tulane underclassmen. Be it the lackluster quality of housing or adequate services on campus, few students really exhibit much regard for these privileges.

While it is unattainable for Tulane to undergo a renovation of every residence hall, Tulane ought to give its students more optionality by not requiring underclassmen to live on campus. Granting students the flexibility to choose where they live ultimately creates greater satisfaction because students can tailor their choices to their own needs.

If Tulane truly seeks to tailor itself to its students’ needs, it would do away with this ludicrous housing policy. Instead of forcing students to pay astronomical rates for meager amounts of space, allowing individuals the freedom to live off campus would not only improve quality of life, but would foster independence for those who choose to follow this route. It is time for Tulane to sync with the times and allow students to decide where and how they wish to live.