By Shelby Gardner —

Freshmen students at the University of Louisville are required to live on campus their first year unless they commute from home. Students should not have to live on campus when housing has so many unresolved problems.

Living in dorms have an unrealistic price for the quality of living that you get. A traditional hall with a nine-month lease costs $5,270 per year, and the nicer the dorms get, the more expensive they are.

Emily Laniga, an on-campus resident, explains why she chose to live on campus even though she is a Louisville native. “I have about a five-minute walk from the School of Music, which is where I spend most of my time either in rehearsals or a practice room. Living in a dorm has made the college experience so much better. I don’t have to worry about traffic (which already stresses me out enough when I’m driving) and I don’t have to worry about being late to class or anything.”

She had mixed feelings when asked if it has been worth the money. “Yes and no. Yes because I’m on campus and close to class, and I’m not on my car which is nice. But also no, because I love being in my own bed. Also, parking in the yellow lot sucks, especially when I have an off-campus rehearsal and I just want to get to bed, but I have to walk from my car to my dorm which can sometimes be quite the hike. Also, my dorm isn’t particularly the best dorm on campus,” said Laniga.

You are also required to get a meal plan when living on campus, which adds another $1,694 at the minimum. This is inconvenient because it often times would be easier, healthier and cheaper for students to pack a lunch. When required to pay for meal swipes to places like Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s and Papa John’s, students can’t really avoid the freshman 15.

Another issue is how student housing lacks accessibility for students with disabilities. For example, Miller and Threlkeld Hall do not have elevators. This is already inconvenient for students that have to move in and out while carrying their belongings up and down multiple flights of stairs. Students with physical disabilities that need elevators have to live in Unitas if they live in a traditional dorm.

In addition to that, a student that suffers an injury during the semester, like breaking their leg, is at a huge disadvantage. They still have to walk up and down the stairs if they live in Miller or Threlkeld because of no elevator access.

Another financial burden of dorm living is that students have to pay yet another fee to park their cars. Students have to pay about $100 just to park their cars in a lot or parking garage on the outskirts of campus. This is unsafe, but also unfair. With as much money as it costs to live on campus already, you would think that parking would be included especially since it’s not at a convenient location.

Freshman music education major Natalie Karrick explained that she has to pay the same amount to park past the natural science building and the train tracks as the people that park in Floyd. She found an alternate spot off campus that’s free and closer. “I used it for maybe a week last semester and I haven’t used it at all this semester,” said Karrick.

Students that live in traditional dorms really get the short end of the stick sometimes. There needs to be some incentive for students to pay to live in nicer dorms like Betty Johnson Hall or Louisville Hall. However, since freshmen are already required to live on campus, they might make things a little nicer.

It is illogical that students have no choice but to live on campus if they are not from the Louisville area. The high prices do not match the amenities that students are given.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal