As most of you know by now, many members of the sophomore class were bumped out of housing on campus for next semester.
After a series of rumors, delays and maybe even deception, the Housing Department, part of the massive and monstrous university bureaucracy, made some changes to the housing situation concerning availability of rooms and the features of Presidential City and Franklin Houses.
So, thanks to the bureaucrats, this issue is nearly over.
This issue should be far from over. There are many lessons to be learned from this mess.
You would think the Housing Department would have learned of this year’s housing problems concerning freshmen. Many students had to live at the Best Western hotel off campus.
Instead, the bureaucrats decided to deal with another year of problems for the same class of students.
It is understandable that Temple wishes to increase its fold of students, but for it to come at the cost of sophomore housing is unacceptable.
But the bureaucracy finds it acceptable for the rising sophomores. Temple University has an expendable class. These students can be shipped out and dispersed throughout the Philadelphia area. These students are lambs that can be taken off the farm and into an emotional slaughterhouse.
This is the price of a bureaucratic system. What else do you expect from a system that has students assembled in a line to receive housing assignments?
This is true Soviet-style bureaucracy.
We are living in the United States in the 21st century and we are waiting in lines to receive a place to live!
Again, the issue is the decision of the bureaucracy to fragment and cripple a whole class of students. Was this the only method the bureaucrats found appropriate?
When Cooney Apartments were closed, Temple was faced with a housing shortage.
This is leaving hundreds of sophomores with no place to go but off campus.
There must have been a better solution to this crisis. Housing officials should have used some more brain cells.
A possible solution could have been to make the older graduates live at Presidential City and Franklin House, have the seniors and juniors live primarily at Towers and have the sophomores and freshman take up the rest of on-campus housing.
A system like that, or something similar, would probably mean reducing the number of incoming freshmen. That would be a sensible action when you figure that if this university could barely handle over 1,000 freshmen this year, why would they increase the number of incoming freshmen to over 1,700?
Especially when, at the same time, the main campus is losing over 1,100 dorm spaces with the loss of Cooney Apartments. What was Temple thinking?
The rising sophomore class has the distinction now of being inconvenienced twice by Housing.
Furthermore, if Housing maintains its policy of not letting off-campus students back into campus housing, then this class will again be ruined by Housing ills next year.
The appropriate solution would be to reduce following year’s number of incoming freshmen but, more important, to get the inconvenienced students back on campus.
By fall 2001 a new large dormitory is expected to be built at the Cooney Site.
If these students are not given back on-campus housing, then action must be taken.
As it stands now, students are being forced to go back home, to look for off-campus housing, or even to leave Temple all together.
This is essentially turning away the people who, along with their parents, give Temple the sustenance to thrive.
The one-year-only guarantee of on-campus housing must be abolished now.
This is the mess the bureaucrats have left us. They chose to recklessly increase the acceptance rates and hurt a whole class in the process.
They chose to keep this crisis from the public as long as possible.
But there are others who have the money, which the bureaucracy needs, and those are the politicians in Harrisburg and in Washington.
Displaced students at Temple should contact their state legislators to trigger some sort of action. To go further, the Department of Education and even the Department of Housing and Urban Development should be notified of this embarrassing mess.
If nothing else, Housing should be subjected to public scrutiny and embarrassment.