State of the U: the off-campus housing conundrum


Eyebrows across campus raised in unison last week at the results of an important element of this year’s housing selection process: the announcement of whose applications to live in non-Union housing (yes, that weird realm they call “off-campus”) next term have been approved.

In keeping with their stated interest in maintaining Union’s practice of keeping as many students living comfortably and safely in college-policed and maintained residences, the Office of Residential Life was so generous as to deny the applications of more than half of those who threw their hats in the ring. Those many, those lucky many, may count their blessings at being held so lovingly to their old meal plans, twin-long beds, soft-as-pavement toilet paper and sporadic heating.

The controversy with these events, of course, lies in which houses’ releases were approved. A few crafty individuals from the “rejected” category had the nerve to notice that the groups applying to live in several popular Friday-night destinations were rightfully denied the option.

I must, as an aside, applaud this decision – I am not the type to know from personal experience, but I’m certain those houses were host to nothing but the most dangerous, irresponsible, and hedonistic of activities.

The Union community is surely safer for this choice, and those who would spend a weekend evening in such a place can rest assured that their interest in social night life is being bravely ignored by our upstanding administrators as they black out from a potent mix of plastic-bottle vodka and boredom in their dorms next year.

The populations of the rejected houses are largely members of Union’s nefarious Greek organizations. As everyone knows, sororities and fraternities are the enemies of a safe and subdued campus populace, a fact wisely taken into account when the decision was made to release no individuals from a few of those groups.

Unwilling to recognize that their choice to affiliate with Greek organizations clearly marks them as untrustworthy individuals, these students have expressed mild frustration in response.

Speaking of Greek organizations, I must respond to a rumor: some individuals on campus are under the impression that Fraternity and Sorority members here are unhappy with the many sanctions imposed on them recently. Has there been controversy among the Union Greek community in response to actions from the administration recently, you ask? Perish the thought!

The school’s staff has been nothing but reasonable and fair in every way, and has demonstrated a downright admirable willingness to interpret their own policies in wonderfully creative and unpredictable ways.

To conclude (and return from that tangent), the ability to live off campus at a residential college like Union is a privilege, not a right. You did not come here to be an adult; you came here to be treated like you need your hand held, and luckily that hand is well-cuffed. This is a school whose very name and founding stands for the equality among us and a refusal to judge others by association. Do not think the administration is behaving that way? For shame, you should know better than to doubt your guardians.


  1. Couldn’t agree more. This conversation needs to be further mobilized and active around campus, otherwise the administration will continue to destroy the infrastructure of student social life.

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