Students’ reactions to housing process cause budget crisis

By Loquitur Editorial Staff
September 16, 2004

Cecelia Francisco

Seniors, previously worried about being forced to Harcum, have flocked to apartment complexes off-campus. The issue of Harcum, which caused much aggravation amongst seniors and transfer students, has now been squashed due to many of the students finding their own accommodations.

Residence Life had originally planned for seniors and any new transfer students to be moved to Harcum due to an overflow of new and returning residents that wanted to live on campus. This year the number of freshmen was 394, which is just short of the 408 students from last year. Bear in mind the number of students from last year may have changed as a result of dropouts.

Charlie Spencer, associate director of admissions, said, “A lot of schools in the area have their numbers down this year especially the Catholic colleges.” This is not rare since most colleges have experienced this in part to the bad economy and financial aid problems.

With students finding other housing options off-campus, Cabrini is left with a lease of 40 beds occupied only by one individual in Pennswood Hall. The hall is also occupied by students from Villanova University and Eastern University. The actions of these students who moved off-campus created an unfortunate domino effect.

Alaina Robinson was set to move into Harcum but a call at 5 p.m. on Aug. 29th told her no one was longer living at Harcum. “They didn’t explain why they moved us from Harcum presumably because they had more room here on campus,” Robinson said. Robinson received an available single in New Residence Hall.

The question still remains as to what the office of residence life will do with these remaining 39 empty beds. Will they rent the beds to another college or university? Will they fill them with transfer students spring semester? Or will they simply take the financial blow and reorganize and create a new system that will work better next year?

Questions are also lingering concerning the sudden cancellation of classes once the semester started. Many students were left running to the office of the registrar in order to find classes to fit their schedules. Senior studio art major Kelly James found herself scrambling to replace the biology lab and accelerated Spanish course that had been canceled during the first week of classes. “Their not offering any of the core classes that I need. How am I going to graduate on time?” James said.

Junior English and communication major Caitlin Langley was notified shortly before the beginning of the semester that her photography class had been canceled. “They said your class is canceled, here’s the rest of your schedule, call your adviser,” Langley said. Many students share Langley’s frustration towards the lack of availability of electives and core requirements resulting in stress and disappointment. “You never know what classes are open and I didn’t even get one related to my major. So now I have this rif-raf course that is irrelevant to what I am trying to do,” Langley said.

Due to the sudden cancellations and consolidations of course sections, many students, including James, are forced to take on busier semesters or seek classes elsewhere in order to make up for credits lost.

Assistant registrar Frances Harkness said that the office of the registrar was willing to work with those students who found themselves trying to pick up classes last minute. She also commended the students for their cooperation in the ongoing shuffle of classes.

Posted to the web by Cecelia Francisco

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Loquitur Editorial Staff

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