Housing Sparks Protest
UMW students slept in Jefferson Square March 27 to protest this year’s housing shortage.
According to Christine Porter, director of residence life, approximately 130 students have not received housing for the fall 2008 semester. The most ever not to receive assignments was in 2004.
Freshman Emily Morton, who did not receive housing, helped organize the camp-out, in which 15 students spent the night in Jefferson Square.
“After listening to many students’ stories, my friends and I decided that a change needed to be made in the housing process,” Morton said. “For instance, housing selection should take place online.”
Porter said that while online selection would simplify the process, it is not a viable option at the present time.
“It’s not as simple as I think some people believe it is,” she said. “It involves a considerable investment of time, money, and people—resources that we don’t have at this time.”
Porter said that the protesters were welcome to express their opinions.
“Anything that spurs dialogue has the potential to spark change,” she said.
Students who do not receive housing are placed on a priority list, meaning they are guaranteed housing by the beginning of the fall semester.