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Jane Jankowski

William Stephan

Last modified: Friday, September 20, 2002

Trustees approve housing plan for first-year students

The Indiana University Board of Trustees agreed unanimously Friday (Sept. 20) to initiate a plan that would require first-year students enrolled at Indiana University Bloomington to live on campus. The policy, which would begin with the entering class in the fall of 2003, also includes several categories of exemptions.

The Bloomington campus already houses 92 percent of first-year students. That number is expected to increase to 98 percent (an additional 400 students) with the new housing requirement. The additional housing needs can be met within the existing inventory of rooms on campus while accommodating the needs of returning students.

"We're sending a strong message to students who come to Indiana University," said IU President Myles Brand. "We're telling them that we care about students, that we are providing the best possible learning and social environment. This policy says we care and we want them to succeed. It's a positive message in this day and age."

Research indicates that students who live on campus during their first year perform better academically, are more likely to stay in school and graduate, participate in more events of all types on campus, show greater gains in autonomy, intellectual orientation and self-concept, and are overall more satisfied with their college experience.

"Living on campus offers distinct advantages for student success, not only academically, but also in terms of maturity and adjustment. It gets new students off to a great start," said IUB Chancellor Sharon Stephens Brehm, who provided a briefing paper to members of the board.

The proposal had previously received support from the Bloomington Faculty Council and the Residence Hall Association, as well as the leadership of the IU Student Association and the Interfraternity Council.

Those eligible for exemptions to the requirements include: first-year students whose parents or guardian live within 25 miles of campus and who choose to live at home; transfer students who live within a 25-mile radius of campus; students who are 21 years old before the start of the first semester; and married students or those who qualify under university guidelines for domestic partnership. Also, requests for exemptions because of medical, cultural, financial or other special circumstances will be considered. At this point, fraternities are considered on-campus housing, pending review of campus practices and policies about the timing and standards for fraternity recruitment and supervision within the chapter house.