Westminster students forced to move from dorms
Featured by: ABC 4
Reported by: Angie Larson
March 11, 2008
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Upperclassmen at Westminster College are upset over a new housing policy. Seniors will no longer get seniority for on-campus dorms in order to make room for the growing Freshman Class.
In fact, enrollment at Westminster has increased nine-percent since 2005 - that's three years of compounded growth. For the 2,050 undergraduates, there are only 545 dorm spots. This is actually the first year on-campus housing has hit capacity. The school expects next year's demand to be even greater and that's the reason for the policy change.
“I live on campus this year, I've been building up my seniority, but overnight that all went away,” said Westminster College Junior Colin Crebs.
Westminster College changed its policy this week. From now on, incoming freshman will get first dibs on the dorms. “In the past when we had more housing than we had demand we were able to give upper-classmen first priority in their housing selection, but now that we're expecting the reverse situation, it makes sense to give under classmen priority because typically upperclassmen are more experienced and more able and often more interested in off-campus housing,” explained Laura Murphy, Westminster’s Executive Director of Communications.
“I'm really upset because I don't want to have to deal with living off campus,” said Westminster Junior Emily Bennion.
Crebs added, “It's just a slap in the face I feel like it is. I shouldn't have to deal with this and to just send out an e-mail and say we've changed the housing policy on you especially when it's my senior year, my last year. It was really unexpected and it really really sucks.”
Westminster is trying to help upper-classmen find comparable off-campus housing, but some students are still worried.
“I cannot afford a 12-month lease on an apartment I'm going to be living in for seven months. I have to furnish it, I have to pay rent. I can't do it,” said Bennion.
Murphy added, “We do understand that this is a difficult transition period. We would love to have all of our students on or adjacent to campus, but unfortunately we're confined to the space that we have available.”
The housing selection process begins April 1st. Many of the upper-classmen say they will camp out to be first in line for any of the on-campus housing slots not taken by the freshmen and sophomores. Westminster housing officials say it's a waiting game to find out what the demand will actually be.