University should construct new residence halls

Every week the editorial board reflects on a current issue in Our View. The position taken does not reflect the opinions of everyone on the Hilltop Views staff.

Earlier this month, students signed up for on-campus housing. Many received housing, but there are still 246 students on the wait list, according to the residence life housing sign-up site. Now, Residence Life says their goal is to “offer housing to everyone on the wait list,” but unless 200-something rooms pop up out of nowhere, not everyone will get a room.

There’s one obvious solution to this: build more residence halls and apartments.

St. Edward’s University has plenty of land around the campus to build another hall somewhere, such as the areas behind the apartments near Interstate 35 and East Hall.

Currently, the I-35 property is being used as an area that can offer “unique educational experiences in a natural setting within walking distance of the campus core.” According to the St. Edward’s University Master Plan, it has been recommended that this area be used for future development. The future is now.

It is time to build new apartments and a residence hall in this area. While these buildings would be somewhat further from the hilltop, walking a bit more will not hurt anyone.

If the school builds new residence halls, they should be designated as upperclassman only. If an upperclassman wants to live on campus they should; in fact, the school should want them to do so because it only means more money in its pocket.

Any residence hall built on the property should be higher than current buildings. There’s only so much horizontal space that a building can occupy. In addition, building vertically in this area would not affect the “viewshed sensitive” designated area in front of Main Building.

If the school were to build a residence hall in the area behind East Hall, it would have to be shorter, but if it means there can be more dorm rooms on campus, then it should be built.

Along with new residence halls, St. Edward’s should build more apartments. There are some students who are ready to take the next step housing-wise, and an apartment would fulfill their wish. More apartments could be built in the same area where the current ones are located. These apartments could follow the existing layout of current buildings.

Another option the university could explore would be buying apartment buildings near the school, such as the ones across Woodward Street. This could be a good option, but the buildings may need some renovation to be brought up to St. Edward’s standards.

St. Edward’s is becoming very crowded very fast, and something must be done to alleviate housing. The only obvious approach would be to build more residence halls and apartments. It is better to have too many rooms for students than not have enough.