Over the past years, USF has experienced a significant increase in the number of incoming freshmen. As a result, the Office of Residence Life (ORL) will implement a new housing policy this fall that allows sophomores to live off-campus.
The current housing policy requires that freshmen and sophomores live in campus residence halls. Effective Fall 2011, the new policy states “all new undergraduate students admitted with 40 or fewer transfer credits will be required to live on campus for their first two semesters of enrollment at USF.”
ORL Assistant Director Lesli Pocock said the primary reason is due to overcrowding in residence halls. “We’ve tried to manage it and our staff has worked so hard,” she said, “but with our freshmen classes growing a little bit bigger each year and those students wanting to stay at the university, we just can’t house everyone in our current buildings.”
For undergraduates who would rather forgo their second year of dorm life, this comes as an opportunity to do so. However, staff members at ORL said they will continue to encourage undergraduates to live in dorms and take full advantage of the services provided by the university.
ORL staff views the change as a moment in which students’ personal growth can match their academic growth. Only the progression will be more accelerated.
As a graduate of USF, Pocock emphasized the importance of living on campus. According to studies conducted by several universities, students who live on-campus are more likely to experience academic success. Pocock also mentioned the lifelong friendships that she forged while living at USF.
Residence Life administrators will reinforce their “Are You Ready?” program, information sessions to aid students in their transition to off-campus housing.
The program will address information such as how students will pay rent, what roommates they will live with, and how to deal with other problems that arise in apartment-style living.
Pocock said that most of the students on campus have been quiet in regards to the change in housing policy. Administrators believe that many students may be unaware of the change in the policy.
However, those at Residence Life are expecting a bit of a pushback from concerned students and family members in the coming months.
ORL is getting ready to launch a poster campaign and administrators are planning on holding information sessions starting in March, in hopes of raising awareness of the new housing policy.
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