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Editorial: Ohio University could, and should, do more to plan for housing crises

We feel bad for the upperclassmen who can't find on-campus housing.

One of the more stressful experiences of a sophomore’s Fall Semester, without a doubt, is beginning the hunt for off-campus housing.

Factors such as cost, location and the folks one shacks up with can weigh heavily on a student’s mind, and the timeframe allotted to students to pick a “good” apartment or house can be grossly competitive and burdensome.

Basically, students are out of luck if they sit on their hands too long.

That’s why we felt for the Ohio University upperclassmen who were denied during winter break on-campus housing for the next school year. Sticking in the dorms can be a safe and easy alternative for those that would otherwise be hiking a mile or two home after classes, or just don’t mind communal showers all that much.

In early November, 3,216 students were sent an email warning them that space would be limited in the dorms for the next academic year, and that they’d have to complete an “Intent to Return” Application.

Of those students, 121 filled out a brief questionnaire saying how they’d “positively contribute” to the university community and why they wished to remain on campus for another year. About 40 students were then given the green light to live in the dorms, leaving 80 upperclassmen scrambling for off-campus housing about a semester too late.

That, of course, isn’t the only housing snafu we’ve seen since the beginning of the last school year. Early in Fall 2014, dozens of students were living with resident assistants or in lounges because of the large incoming freshman class.

OU’s Department of Housing and Residence Life needs to better serve students by planning for these types of discrepancies — and planning doesn’t mean leaving upperclassmen high and dry.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post's executive editors: Editor-in-Chief Emma Ockerman, Managing Editor Rebekah Barnes and Digital Managing Editor Samuel Howard. Post editorials are independent of the publication's news coverage.

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