BY GRACE WEAVER
Next year, students attending the University of Mary Washington will be required to live on-campus for their first two years, rather than just the first as previously required.
According to Chris Porter, director of Residence Life, this rule will not affect current UMW students or students who deferred their enrollment from Fall 2009 to Fall 2010. Overall, Porter expects the student response to the new regulation to be positive.
Porter explained that there were two major reasons for the decision.
“Philosophically, it gives us more opportunity to work with students on campus during their first two years,” Porter said. “Second, to provide some stability to the housing program numbers.”
“I think it will give students the opportunity to become more connected to UMW during their first two years,” Porter said.
Danny Shebib, a current freshman living in Jefferson Hall, had mixed feelings on the policy.
“I probably wouldn’t choose to live in the dorms another year, but I love the school and [the new rule] definitely wouldn’t impact my decision to come here if I was an incoming freshmen,” Shebib said.
Another Jefferson Hall freshman Sara Eutsler was more vocal about her opinion.
“That’s ridiculous,” Eutsler said. “After freshmen year you should be able to live wherever you want.”
However, she admitted that the policy would not affect her decision to come here if she were an incoming freshman.
Other Virginia schools have similar housing requirements. Starting with the incoming class of 2010, all Christopher Newport University students will be required to live on campus from their freshmen year until their junior year, according to the Christopher Newport Web site.
The only exceptions to this rule are students who are transfer students, married, over the age of 22, or live locally with a parent or guardian.
Longwood University shares a similar belief that living on campus stimulates student learning and personal development, and requires that all students, with the exception of a select few, live on campus, according to the Longwood University Web site.
Longwood offers only three exclusive off-campus apartment complexes that are available to select students upon filling out an application and completing a certain amount of credits, but the majority of students live on campus for the duration of their time in college.
In addition to the housing requirement change at Mary Washington, a few other changes to housing will be implemented within the next year. Over the summer, renovations on Randolph and Mason are scheduled to begin. Additionally, sophomores have been given the option of living in Eagle Landing this year.