College needs more beds
The Office of Residential Life should be applauded for its efforts to research whether the College should create more beds. But a "comprehensive review to examine students' housing needs" is hardly necessary to figure out that more beds are sorely needed.
Though the wait-list for fall housing is considerably shorter than last year's -- 40 students compared to 278 -- the fact remains the College is still short on beds.
Sixty-five members of the Class of 1998 were denied their first choice Dartmouth-Plan because the College could not provide them with a place to sleep. Paying $25,720 should entitle students to choose which terms they want to spend on campus.
But it is more than a question of preference. It compromises students' educations. A student who has his or her heart set on taking a certain class, or even more importantly, needs to be on campus to take a major class, should not lose that opportunity due to a lack of beds.
Dartmouth's residential character is self-destructing. Fearing the College will leave them homeless, more students are automatically seeking off campus housing upon receiving poor priority numbers. Students who move off-campus are bound by leases and are less likely to return.
Creating more beds is expensive. But the College would not have trouble finding alums to fund their construction.
Additional beds would allow the College to alleviate overcrowded rooms during the Winter and Spring terms when fewer students are on campus.
The College cannot continue shortchanging students academically and socially. ORL must conclude that the College needs more beds.