As you may know, construction is underway on a new residence hall on campus, which is expected to open in the fall of 1995 and house up to 500 students. But what should be a shining example of a university's commitment to its students is in fact a feeble attempt to dam a roaring river with a piece of chewing gum.

The UA has received about 5,100 applications for housing as of last month, but with only one catch: There are only about 4,250 spots available. The 850 students who cannot be accomodated yet indicate that the university failed at some point years ago to foresee this surge of students seeking housing.

The administration and the Arizona Board of Regents have recognized what they see as a surge of 55,000 new university-level students into the Arizona system by 2010. And those two entities have made plans for a new four-year college to educate some of those students and take the burden off of a downsizing University of Arizona.

But what has not yet been adequately addressed is where many of those 55,000 students will live.

If the new facility can house up to 500 students, as has been estimated, that means right now about 350 students would be left without a place to live for the upcoming semester, not counting any additional applications before the new hall opens next fall.

How many of these students will end up sleeping in the lobby before they can get a room?

Speaking of housing conditions, the undergraduates with the cramped quarters on campus have nothing on the poor residents of Christopher City, conveniently tucked away and largely forgotten on Fort Lowell and Columbus.

Many of the residents of Christopher City are graduate students, some married, who have families to support on a meager income.

Yet, they must make plans to feed their children while a high-ranking UA administrator is saying that the best option for Christopher City is to tear it down and start over. It is difficult enough for the poor Christopher Citians to make do with rotted carpeting and roaches around every corner, without having to worry that they might even be without their apartment, however pathetic it might be.

Where would the university place them if Christopher City is demolished?

This university must reexamine its commitment to its student housing. One new residence hall is not enough. Read Next Article