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Off campus housing policy causes stir within student body
MANY STUDENTS DENIED OFF
CAMPUS HOUSING DUE TO LOWERED
ENROLLMENT, STUDENTS REACT TO
BY BRITTANY MURDOCK
With enrollment down by 366 students since 2010 and
huge cuts to financial aid, Guilford has been doing its best
to adjust to these hard economic times. One way Guilford
is coping is by limiting the number of students who get
approved for off campus housing.
"I think it's unfair that because enrollment is down, I
have to suffer the consequences," said junior Courtney
Morsberger. "I wanted to live off campus so it would be
easier to take summer classes at University of North
Carolina at Greensboro. They didn't care that I have to
take summer classes at a different school due to the lack of
summer classes Guilford offers."
Students are approved to live off campus if they have
certain financial hardships or medical needs, if they are
commuting, or for a few various other exceptions. The
school has approved 139 off campus housing applications
and has currently stopped approval for the time being.
Credit hours and seniority do not play into the decision.
"There are so few medical and disability accommodations
that we can't accommodate on campus," said Vice President
for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Aaron Fetrow.
"We are trying to help those families in the highest amount
Westborough Apartments is a popular off-campus location for
students because it is close to campus and relatively cheap.
Junior Natalie Duvall is one of the students that got
approved for off campus housing due to medical issues.
"The central air systems have been killer on my
nonexistent immune system," said Duvall in an email
interview. "I'm most looking forward to having control
of my own environment and actually being healthy on
campus. Being able to take advantage of everything
Guilford has to offer instead of being stuck in bed all day is
going to be pretty awesome."
There are 1,050 beds to fill throughout campus. The
school counts on being 98-100 percent full in Fall 2013.
While other private schools around the area increased
tuition by up to eight percent, Guilford has only increased
by three. With this relatively small increase in tuition, it was
critical that housing on campus was full.
"I don't mind living on campus because I enjoy how
easily accessible all my classes are," said sophomore Avery
Hill. "I think if rooms were nicer and cleaner, people would
like living on campus."
Living off campus is more affordable than paying for
on campus housing. Many students are stuck living in on
campus housing they cannot afford, which makes them
more likely to leave Guilford as a result.
"The school is not going to get students' money if they
continue to force them to stay on campus," said first-year
Andrew McDonagh. "They will end up losing even more
Other schools around the area have different
requirements for off campus housing. Greensboro College
allows students to live off campus if they are 21 or older,
have senior status with 92 credits or more, or if they are
commuting from a family member's house within a 30 mile
UNCG has no requirement to live on campus and
students can live off campus at any time. Students are free
to do so at any time. Assistant Director for Residence Life at
UNCG Christopher Gregory believes that experiencing an
off campus living environment does not add to the college
"I think my college experience was enhanced by living
on campus, being close to the university, and interacting
with peers," said Gregory in an email interview.
Campus Life continues to look at each case carefully in
order to make the right decision for students and the school.
"Every year, we have said that students are not guaranteed
to be approved to live off campus," said Susanna Westberg,
director of residence life. "We understand that students are
frustrated because they have seen a trend from past years,
but those have been the exception and not the rule."
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Compiled by Tim Leisman, Community Senate President
As Hodgins prepares new development, students cry encroachment’
Continued from Page I
ALUMNI, STUDENTS, NEIGHBORS
REACT TO PLANS TO REZONE
AND EXPAND HODGINS RETREAT
While students are the crucial stakeholders, alumnus
David Feagins '70 plays an active role in expressing
community concerns about the expansion.
"I've lived on this campus 60 of my 65 years," said
Feagins. "It's a shame that they're doing this. We truly
are one of the few colleges today who can say this is a
Feagins also stressed the project's potential threat to
"Whenever you construct a parking lot of that
magnitude, you're going to get storm water runoff,"
said Feagins. "Once the runoff escapes the lone
filtration system, it's headed right down to Guilford
Feagins is not the only one alarmed.
Neighbors of campus fear that development will
open doors for environmental and traffic hazards.
"It goes without saying that construction is harmful
to the environment," said Twinkle Patel, employee of
BP Gas on West Friendly Avenue. "Besides, it's already
too busy around here."
"Construction will increase commercial traffic
with builders coming in daily," said Jonathan Isaacs,
technician for Friendly Tires. "It will get noisy and
definitely distracting for students studying."
Many senior students and alumni see the current
rezoning battle in light of the initial Hodgins
"I remember a Guilford before Hodgins," said
a former Hodgins employee who wishes to remain
anonymous. "People were not happy when the original
buildings went up."
"The majority of residents along Foxwood were
opposed," said Feagins. "It didn't matter. The proposal
got through, and the land was zoned."
If history tells us anything, it is that Dixon may well
have his way in the end.
"(Dixon) intends to file a new rezoning request ...
but is still working with neighbors and interested
parties on an updated proposal," said Planning
and Community Development Administrator Mike
Kirkman in an email interview.
Feagins, who recently attended a meeting with
Kirkman and the developers, stated that the developers
"have pretty much received approval to move
Seldom taking a position on newly proposed
construction, the college administration did not
comment on the recent news.
"We have not been active in this in the recent weeks
but plan to reform a position as things have changed,"
Vice President of Administration Jon Varnell said in an
The administration and board of trustees will meet
later this month to finalize a stance.
Jim Newlin, alumnus and co-founder of the West
Friendly Avenue-Guilford College Alliance, urges
students to actively engage in local planning.
"Students can and ought to be involved in the
strategic planning process," Newlin said. "We are
planning to develop a comprehensive plan to address
these issues, but more recently, we've been focusing on
the issues surround Hodgins Retreat."