BuzzKill: Senior Housing

Walter Smith Randolph

It’s that time of the year again. The time when people start getting voted out of a group of friends, and roommates stop speaking to each other for days on end. Yes, my friends, juniors have already begun the senior housing search, and the house I live in has already been called for the next three years. It’s vicious out there, but that’s the way it is if you want to live remotely close to campus for your senior year.

No one ever really thinks about that year beyond the three years of guaranteed housing when they decide to come to Villanova. There seems to be the idea that unless you have called a place to live by Thanksgiving, you will probably be subjected to living in East Jipip – wherever that is.

Now, the easy way out would be to blame the University for not having senior housing, but it’s not at fault here. The University does want to house all of its students, and if you have taken a look at the newest draft of the Campus Master Plan, you would see that the University has come up with multiple alternatives to house seniors in the years to come.

I blame Radnor Township.

The residents of Radnor Township don’t want us to live in their community. They want us all to live on campus, which should be surrounded by a huge bubble. Think “The Simpsons Movie.” Now, that wouldn’t be a bad idea, if it were actually allowed to happen. Seniors living on campus would be a lot more convenient. There would be less traffic to and from school, and there would be a lot fewer accidents in Main Lot because people would not be battling over that sweet spot in the first row. I could continue to list the pros of having seniors live on campus, but that would take up the entire Magazine.

Instead, Villanova seniors are subjected to living off campus in houses that are not taken care of. Some seniors have squirrels running around their apartments, while others are subjected to living on someone’s couch because their neighbors discovered that they were students. (The Villanova bumper sticker and out-of-state license plate probably gave it away.)

No one should be subjected to the constant hassle of trying to secure a home for his or her final year of college. But then once you find a home, you have to sign your life away, and depending on which township you live in, your parents might have to sign their lives away too. No one wants to live in a house or apartment that could crumble to the ground at any minute, but it happens because the township has decided that Villanova should not build.

The University does have a number of resources, such as the Office for Residence Life, which can review leases and help with student-approved housing, but the University can only do so much. If our neighbors want to pretend we don’t exist, then let Villanova build.