By: Rachel Cain – Staff Writer
A recent rumor claiming incoming University of Dayton first-years would be required to live in university housing all four years is untrue. The system for incoming students entering the housing process will remain the same as it has been for the last several years.
“What [the rumor is] referring to is not that students have to sign a contract with university housing. [A contract] has actually been available for the last two years to any incoming student that wants us to guarantee them housing for four years,” Director of Housing Operations James Froehlich said. “If you want a housing guarantee, there’s a contract that’s available for you to sign.”
The contract is not mandatory for any student.
“As long as they’re in university housing we’ll honor our guarantee to them that they’ll get a bed all four years,” Froehlich said. “It really does provide students total control if they want it.”
If students do choose to sign the contract and then desire to live off campus during their four years, they are free to do so.
“It’s basically saying they’re breaking the contract and that they no longer want the guarantee,” Froehlich said.
According to UD’s housing FAQ webpage, all first-year and second-year students must live on campus unless they are commuter students. Transfer students also must reside in university housing if they have spent less than four semesters at any college.
After the first two years at UD, students are no longer required to live on campus, even if they have signed the contract guaranteeing them housing.
Contrary to the rumors, students who sign the contract then choose to live off campus are still allowed to return to university housing. They will no longer be guaranteed housing, but Froehlich said that is rarely an issue: “It has historically been that any student that wants a bed, we’ve been able to provide them a bed.”
The rumor about university housing being required all four years spread rapidly among the underclassmen.
Joshua Tovey, director of Marianist involvement in the Student Government Association, said he heard the rumors when he spoke with a group of nearly 300 students in the Marycrest Residence Hall, on his campaign trail for SGA president.
“They specifically brought up the fact that housing is going to start encouraging people to have to stay in UD housing for four years,” Tovey said.
Four separate students brought the rumor to Tovey’s attention.
“They seemed like they were speaking the God-honest truth,” he said.
Elaine Laux, vice president of SGA, believes an effective method for dispelling rumors is open communication between students and the administration. She suggested town hall meetings and the Sunday public SGA meetings as means to achieving this goal.
“On Sundays, we’ll have members from the faculty or administration, such as housing,” Laux said. “The administrator will give a 10-minute talk and then take questions.”
These questions can come from SGA members or other members of the public. All students are welcome to attend.
The opportunity to ask questions at these SGA meetings is crucial for ending rumors, Laux said, because “you’re talking straight to the administrators.”
Laux said SGA tries to send out tweets to address rumors they hear spreading throughout campus.
“Rumors always happen. They happen every year about everything,” Tovey said. “It’s important to quell them as soon as possible instead of letting them slide out of control.”
However, rumors often develop for various reasons.
“I think when it comes to university policy, there are two things that really matter about a rumor,” Tovey said. “One, it sounds real. Two, it’s a hot-button issue.”
The SGA public meetings take place at 6 p.m. in the KU Ballroom.