As the University of Louisville grows and expands, the ever present issue of student housing once again enters the forefront. Next year, all freshmen will be required to live on campus unless they meet the requirements for exemption. On a campus where living space is already hard to come by, the choices being made by the university are not only inconveniencing a lot of students but also changing the social structure of the university.
Many students already have a hard time getting the housing that they want. An influx of students who are required to live on campus will further complicate the housing process and limit the types of living space that upperclassmen have access to. A metro university just doesn’t have enough expandable space to warrant a mandate that would ask more students to live on campus.
Old Louisville is full of apartments for rent, but as soon they become available, students swoop in to take advantage of the convenient proximity to campus, as opposed to their parents’ houses. As for the desire to build a tighter community at 4th and Cardinal, this will undoubtedly change how the university functions on a social level. U of L is a commuter school and that’s a great thing. Having a diverse population from all reaches of the city gives the school a unique position in the heart of Louisville. While a sense of community isn’t necessarily a bad thing, effectively gating the community is. To sequester students within defined living space will pull the spread of the university back, detaching it a little from River City.
The University of Louisville has a reputation as a commuter school. Changing this is too big and complicated a task to be done in one year. This is a transition that, if made, should be done over time and with students’ interests in mind.
Photo: Erin Standridge/The Louisville Cardinal