By Brooke Retkowski, The Whetstone
Sophomore Karina Cardona realized she was beginning to lose sight of her grades while living in Carpenter Hall.
“I started to focus more on social life and less of school,” she said. “I could never focus on my school work with people in the hall banging on doors, and yelling at crazy hours of the night.”
Wesley College’s policy requires students to live on campus for at least two years, in residential dorms, before they are allowed to move off campus.
Some students said they like living on campus because of events, convenience and the social life.
Other students file requests to move off campus before their two years are complete because of costs, condition of the rooms and bathrooms as well as constant distractions.
Freshman Mykayla Bird said so far she enjoys living on campus.
“Living on campus gives me the opportunity to form new relationships outside of my friends at softball,” she said. “I am also able to experience different social settings at some of the events held on campus.”
Yearly increases have caused financial burdens on some students, making it a cheaper decision to move off campus into their own apartment.
Junior Christian Bailey said she was able to get the cost of tuition down through scholarships, but, when it came to room and board, that’s where it got expensive.
“When I sat down and did the calculations, it was around $3,000 less to live off campus,” she said, “I did not feel like my experience and what I was actually getting out of the dorms was worth all of the money I was putting into it.”
Christopher Willis, assistant dean of students and director of residence life, said he cannot speak to any numbers when asked about student concerns with the policy.
“I have had one student say that it would be cheaper if we let them just get an apartment,” he said. “Whether that is true or not really depends on a lot of information I guess.”
To appeal the 2-year residency requirement, students must complete the Residential Living Appeal Form and submit it to the Dean of Students office.
But there are a few criteria students must meet to be considered.
“All single full-time students under the age of 21 are required to room and board at the college for a minimum of two full academic years,” Willis said.
Willis also works directly with the Residential Living Appeal Committee.
The only listed reasons for living off-campus before a student’s two years are up include having, at most, an hour-commute to campus; already residing on campus a minimum of two full academic years; if the student is at least 20 years old before the first day of the academic year; or if the student is married.
Other possible reasons may include the student providing documentation, such as a doctor’s note or financial records.
Willis said the Residential Living Appeal Committee meets after the deadlines of Aug 1 for the fall semester and Jan 1 for the spring semester. Students are contacted with the committee’s decision.
Sophomore Sahara Katz said she has yet to hear from Student Affairs after filing early spring last semester.
“My request was originally denied, which led me to getting a doctor’s note,” she said, “My most current request is still being processed, there has been a series of emails of doctor notes exchanged back and forth, but my official answer has not been given.”
Katz also said she has begun paying rent toward her off-campus house. Although no decision has been made, she decided to move into her off-campus apartment.
Cardona said that there are fewer distractions that come with living off campus.
“I am way more focused when I am doing my work and I have no distractions,” she said, “My roommates are dedicated to their work so that really helps me out a lot with my studies.”
The policy was put into place based on student success rate Willis said.
“Studies show that students that live on campus are more successful because they are more engaged in their community,” he said. “For some students, living on campus is what a student needs, it is where that student thrives the most.”