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Opinion: Ohio State students should have freedom in 2nd-year dorm choices

February 12, 2014

curits.399@osu.edu
People walk in front of Smith-Steeb Hall on South Campus. Starting with the 2016-17 academic year, second-year students are set to be required to live on campus.

People walk in front of Smith-Steeb Hall on South Campus. Starting with the 2016-17 academic year, second-year students are set to be required to live on campus.

In the 2016-17 school year, scholars students on campus might be wondering: will future scholars students be required to live in scholars residence halls for a second year?

Currently, scholars students are assigned to live in dorms with their respective programs during their first year. The residence hall requirement is enforced for a few reasons, according to the Ohio State Honors-Scholars website: to build a strong sense of community, to provide a peer network of successful students with similar interests and to be involved with residence hall directors and governments.

As a scholars student who resides in the required residence hall for my program, I can say that the required first-year housing has allowed me to meet these goals. I have study buddies right down the hall from me and I know most of the people on my floor, in large part because of classes or scholars program activities.

That being said, a mandate that students live in required scholars housing for a second year would be, quite simply, overkill.

I would go so far as to say that a second-year scholars housing requirement would actually inhibit students’ abilities to continue exploring interests and expanding social circles.

By the time sophomore rolls around, students have had ample time to find their respective niches on campus. Students who have found their social callings should be able to live with the students that they have fallen in step with whether they are from the same program or not. These students would be able to continue building the friendships that were established during first year.

Further, it seems cruel to force students who didn’t bond with other students in their programs to continue living in the same environment for multiple years. These students could make use of the second-year housing requirement to get acquainted with different areas of campus and new people so that by junior year, they hopefully have a better idea of where their social paths might lead.

All students at OSU deserve the opportunity to discover and bond with people who they enjoy. Those students who found their niches in the scholars residence halls or elsewhere will appreciate the opportunity to live with students from scholars programs or not. And the student out there who is still looking for a niche will appreciate the ability to continue exploring the possibilities on campus.


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