By Brandon Johnson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday Jan. 16, 2002
Under Proposal, all students currently living in dorms would be able to return next year
An ASUA senator will propose a resolution tonight that would recommend postponing the recently passed housing cap for another year.
The cap, which was created by University of Arizona administrators, allows only freshmen and and a limited number of sophomores to live in the dorms beginning in the fall.
If passed, the resolution would recommend that the Arizona Board of Regents delay the cap for another year.
Doug Hartz, the ASUA senator who will make the proposal, said the UA administration did not do a good job foreseeing the overcrowding problem currently plaguing residence halls.
More than 200 students were forced to live in hotels and dorm lounges this year because there were not enough spaces in UA housing to accommodate this year's 6,000 freshmen - the largest freshman class in UA's history - as well as sophomores, juniors and seniors returning to the dorms.
While Hartz said he believes it is important for incoming freshmen to have priority in housing, he said he thinks current UA students were left in the cold on this subject because they were not told of the shortage in housing when they decided to come to UA.
Jim Van Arsdel, director of Housing and Residence Life, agrees that something needs to be done to cater to both current and future students.
"We need to do a better job of balancing the needs of new students with the needs of older students," he said.
Ben Bush, president of the Residence Hall Association, said that most students who are affected by the cap support the ASUA proposal.
Hartz also said he sees the other side of the issue and realizes that a cap needs to be implemented at some point. Hartz said he is hopeful that the proposal will make it to the board of regents.
"I would be hopeful that they would take it into consideration," he said.
Student regent Matt Meaker, a UA law student and former RHA president, said it is difficult to predict how the board of regents will respond to the proposal because they have not heard such an issue before.
Meaker said that before winter break, he met with students and administrative officials and he understands both sides of the issue.
ASUA will meet tonight at 6 in the Harvill building, Room 234.