WU needs to build off-campus housing

David Holloway | Op-Ed Submission

So, after the latest attack on a (grad) student at our prestigious university, I have to wonder when—or if—something (anything!) is going to be done about the living conditions off campus. I find it highly ironic that while the University is busy turning the South 40 into Candy Land, students are getting mugged, beaten and robbed in and around their shady off-campus apartments. While I understand that the new South 40 is primarily intended to impress the money right out of Daddy’s wallet and into the chancellor’s lap, what I don’t understand is how the University can stand behind its off-campus housing situation.

And it IS a situation. What happened to that grad student last month is not unusual. How many of your friends have been held up at gunpoint, stripped of their wallets, phones and wedding rings? But at least they have their education. The University needs to build off-campus housing for students who don’t/can’t live on campus. A great many universities (even STATE universities, Dr. Wrighton) have complexes and housing for grad students and upperclass undergraduates. So why don’t we? The one at Stanford is the size of a small city and even has its own bar.

Grad students, who make very little as it is, essentially have two options: Sign on with Quadrangle (and please, don’t sign on with Quadrangle!), or bag a Special Someone who has a real job and who has the monetary capital to make everything better. Undergraduates who choose to live off campus may have no options…That’s why the University needs to devote some of its cranes and hardhats and executive meetings to off-campus housing. Although the University may install more security cameras, offer more counseling, and get more carts to drive around the block, this problem will not go away. It’s time for plan B, which should have been plan A.

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