Tulane Admissions must rethink priorities

Edwin Wang, Staff Writer

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Adelaide Basco | Art Director

As the annual college application process draws to a close for the 2018-19 academic year, many Tulanians likely feel immense pride for their institution. According to a press release from Tulane’s Office of Undergraduate Admission, Tulane received a record 41,365 applications this year, leading to a record 13 percent acceptance rate for the class of 2023.

Many of the statistics reported by Tulane’s admissions office are laudable. Whether it is the ever-increasing diversity of the freshman class (an 11 percent increase from the class of 2022) or the 56 percent increase in students who considered Tulane their first-choice school, Tulane has clearly emerged as the envy of prospective college applicants.

Though these numbers indicate an exceptionally accomplished incoming freshman class, it is the duty of admissions and enrollment staff to ensure incoming Tulane freshmen experience a smooth transition to university life.

Indeed, a previous Hullabaloo article indicates a severe, unacknowledged housing crisis on Tulane’s uptown campus that dates back at least several years. In the fall of 2016, Tulane’s Office of Housing and Residence Life introduced a shocking new policy to assign 178 honors students to triples in Wall Residential College.

With incoming classes only expected to grow in size and no immediate plans from Tulane to expand housing on its Uptown campus, this dilemma reflects the university’s sheer negligence for its students’ housing situations.

All Tulane underclassmen are required to live on campus and thus accept the reality of Tulane’s housing circumstances. But instead of forcing these conditions on Tulane’s incoming freshmen, the admissions office ought to work with the housing office to ensure an affordable, sustainable solution to this issue. Perhaps Tulane could loosen the campus living restraints on students so they are not forced to shell out thousands for subpar amenities like triples and musty air. If current conditions are the status quo, however, it is clear Tulane has much work ahead to ensure a more pleasant college experience for its future classes.

Housing is an integral part of college life and a valuable indicator of happiness, quality of life and academic success. It is vital for incoming freshmen to be able to enjoy their new home and not feel uncomfortable as they take on new challenges miles away from home. In order to ensure future Tulanians enjoy the same privileges as previous students, the university must take charge and address this issue. Instead of solely focusing on how to drive Tulane’s prestige in college rankings, Tulane administration ought to recognize respect comes from within, and it begins with an enviable lifestyle.