The Pitzer College housing rumor is true: Sophomores will be required to live on campus starting fall 2013, according to Housing Coordinator Tressi Chun.
While sophomores must live on campus, both juniors and seniors will have to complete off-campus housing applications. Approval of off-campus housing is not guaranteed. Chun, Vice President of Student Affairs Jim Marchant, and Dean of Students Moya Carter worked together to implement these changes.
Chun said that in the past, sophomores, juniors, and seniors were allowed to live off campus. Sophomores were required to meet with Chun, juniors were supposed to submit the application, and seniors were automatically approved but asked to submit the form. Generally, the differences were not great, and students from any of those grades could live off campus with relative ease.
“If students did not submit an off-campus application and did not show up to room draw, we assumed they were going to live off campus and were not placed in housing,” Chun said. “We will now place those students in campus housing.”
Deadlines have also become stricter, and if juniors and seniors wish to live off campus, their housing applications must now be on time in order to be approved.
Chun said Pitzer aims to be at full capacity in its residence halls, particularly now that its West and East Halls (Phase II) are completed. Pitzer also hopes to promote a strong sense of community between sophomores. Currently, strong camaraderie mostly exists between first-years. Chun said these changes should “foster an environment of student success.”
Student reactions to these changes have been mixed.
Some sophomores said they did not like the change for a variety of reasons, including finances and freedom.
“I intend to live on campus next year,” Marie Fleming PZ ’16 said. “But I was considering living off campus for financial reasons … I think to take away that right isn’t fair. We bonded freshman year; it’s not necessary to keep kids on campus next year.”
Chun said that Pitzer will take financial considerations into account.
“Pitzer has always been sensitive to the financial needs of our students. We will continue the practice of working with these students case-by-case,” Chun said.
Some rising sophomores, such as Morissa Zuckerman PZ ’16, said they did not mind the change. Zuckerman said she is excited to live in the Phase II residence halls.
Rising juniors and seniors were generally unaware of or unconcerned with the change.
Student Senate Chair Jonathan Rice PZ ’13 said Senate is meeting with an administrator today, March 1, to confirm the changes and discuss the details.
Aside from living location, few changes are likely to occur due to the new policy. According to Chun, the proportion of students living off campus, 15 percent, is predicted to remain roughly the same. The school will not generate additional revenue as a result of the policy, and there will not be more students in triples or fewer in singles.
According to Pitzer’s website, some students are exempt from these rules. If a student is “married or with children,” “24 years of age or older,” “living with immediate family in the area,” or has “documented medical or psychological conditions that, in the determination of the College, preclude the student from living in on-campus housing,” he or she is automatically approved for off-campus housing.