Res. Life proposal under student scrutiny
Wildcat File Photo
Arizona Daily Wildcat
James Van Arsdel
Residence Life Director
The Residence Life director said yesterday that despite student outcry, the UA will probably be unable to guarantee housing for sophomores, juniors and seniors wishing to remain in the dorms next fall.
Members of four residence halls formed a committee and presented an alternate plan to Residence Life Director James Van Arsdel yesterday, calling for the postponement of the decision.
Van Arsdel said although the students' proposal to postpone the decision is "significant," and will be taken into consideration, he does not see any reason to put off the decision.
Residence Life's plan is to enroll current UA students into a lottery in April to determine if they have a room in the dorms, Van Arsdel announced Thursday night at a Residence Hall Association meeting.
"There are definite benefits to what Residence Life is trying to do," said Landon Vincent, a committee member and photography freshman. "But the proposal they put before us is not the best plan of action that could be taken."
About 200 students signed a petition protesting the plan Saturday at the meeting in the Memorial Student Union's Arizona Ballroom.
Although no concrete decisions have been made, Van Arsdel said giving freshmen priority is important for their academic success.
"We're clearly going in the direction which would exclude students beyond their freshman year," he said. "I have great difficulty knowing what I know and not going ahead."
The plan ensures that housing will be available for freshmen applying before May 1, he said.
Vincent said the committee is concerned about students receiving financial aid and disabled students who might be forced off campus.
"We respect that all freshmen should have that right (to live in a residence hall)," Vincent said. "But the timing of this is all wrong."
He added that April is too late for students to find an apartment.
UA dorm dwellers affected by the decision had mixed reactions.
"I wish they would have asked us first," said Dan Kim, a Kaibab-Huachuca resident and sociology freshman. "I was depending on the dorms next year. It was the last thing I expected."
But media arts freshman Lisa Marlis, a Graham-Greenlee resident, said upperclassmen should yield their spots to incoming students.
"By the time you are a junior, it is not fair. You need to give freshmen the priority," Marlis said. "They (freshmen) should be living on campus and having that experience."
Wildcat reporter Rachael Myer contributed to this report.
Erin Mahoney can be reached at Erin.Mahoney@wildcat.arizona.edu