‘Nova’s Own Housing Crisis

Editorial Board

This newspaper has written many times before about the deplorable state of campus housing for underclassmen. Most everyone is aware of the state (and lack of) campus housing, but in the University’s defense, it faces major challenges within and outside of the Villanova community in order to have residence halls that will accommodate every student.

The Campus Master Plan, which includes provisions for housing, has not even been approved yet. Once a plan has been chosen, the committees must work with Radnor Township to agree on a plan that will benefit both communities, which will be a long and arduous process.

There are things that the administration can do and is doing about the situation. The ’08-’09 budget that was approved in February states that “The largest portion on the FMO capital budget (approximately $4.5 million) is earmarked for improvements to residence halls.” Since there were openings this year, a small group of sophomores were offered to live in the West Campus apartments, and therefore the number of tripled freshmen has relatively decreased. Good Counsel Hall was renovated this summer, and there are plans to extensively renovate Fedigan Hall next summer. After its renovations, Fedigan will be considered a “green” building in tandem with the University-wide sustainability and green effort.

However, while there is clearly a dearth of housing – not to mentioned air-conditioned halls – the University continues to accept a slightly larger freshman class each year, despite the fact that there is no room for them. It’s fun to tout the fact that each freshman class is more qualified and motivated than the last, but once they arrive, these students are not offered an adequate place to live, and some don’t even live on campus.

Each year more people use the residence halls, yet most do not see much renovation. The cost of the wear and tear on these buildings is already catching up to us and will only get worse since we cannot build anything new. It seems like accepting a larger freshman class each year only adds to the housing crisis that we can do virtually nothing about in the immediate future.

The Class of ’12 was accepted from the largest pool of college applicants in history, according to interviews with the Office of Admissions. After this year, population reports project that the number of students applying to college will decrease significantly. This may affect the number of students accepted at Villanova in the future, but the University must still consider its housing capacity when accepting new students.