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Reduced admissions much needed change

October 25, 2012

For the couple hundred students living in transitional housing this fall, living situations proved frustrating.

On top of the already large number of students in transitional housing, the university asked that resident assistants, or RAs, and Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions, or OCAT, aides share rooms with freshmen.

As of Aug. 30, 102 students were in transitional housing with RAs and OCAT aides. These students were moved to permanent housing in mid-September, but this fall, hundreds of dorm rooms still were in transitional housing, meaning three students were living in a two-person room.

For many students, this meant cramped, uncomfortable living quarters. Many complained there wasn’t enough room for their belongings and their rooms seemed to resemble walk-in closets, with barely enough space to move.

This year, there were about 8,100 freshmen, compared to 7,700 last year, making it the largest freshman class in MSU history.

But now, MSU officials are planning to decrease the incoming freshman class sizes during the next few years, a necessary and overdue step for the university.

The recommendations call for student enrollment for next year to be around 7,700 new students, 7,500 in 2014 and 7,300 the following two years.

Although there were multiple factors in the university’s need to implement transitional housing, such as the construction at Armstrong and Bryan halls in the Brody Complex Neighborhood, one of the major reasons was the influx of freshmen this year, a lack of oversight on the university’s part.

It is understandable that when universities experience funding cuts, as MSU has during the past few years, they have to make up for their losses, but increasing the number of students to such an excessive level without providing adequate living arrangements is not the correct method.

The university did provide compensation for students put in transitional housing, including $75 in Spartan Cash and a sweatshirt for those placed with RAs, and last year, students with three-person rooms were reimbursed with a $550 check each semester.

Ultimately, decreasing admissions will be a step in the right direction for the university.

Decreasing the number of incoming freshmen will eliminate students having to live in cramped dorm rooms and will be a breath of fresh air for students looking to have more personal space.

And because only one dorm in Brody Complex Neighborhood will be closed next year instead of two, this should help decrease the number of students in transitional housing for next year.

The university admittedly has made mistakes in allowing such large numbers of incoming freshman classes during the past few years without adequate space to house them, but officials have learned from their mistakes, and hopefully incoming freshmen now can have a better start to their college career, and cramped living conditions can become a thing of the past.

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