Opinion: Underclassmen should be allowed to live off – campus

By Alice Wu
Staff Writer

It must be established that as it is, with underclassmen being allowed to live off-campus (albeit with family support), very, very few are doing so.  

It is clear that for the vast majority of underclassmen, on-campus living is the most appealing option. The question is not whether in general living on campus is better, but what situations might arise that lead some students to choose to live off campus.  

The first type is, of course, a person who is local to the Steubenville area, for whom living off-campus represents a much lower cost burden that may outweigh the inconveniences.  

This is a very small minority of students, but in general I believe it would benefit Franciscan as a community to encourage Steubenville residents to consider this school.  

Franciscan is often criticized for its disconnection from its host city, and I have heard some students express quite a bit of prejudice and anxiety about the locals; likewise, when I take the bus to town, I hear many locals express distrust toward “Frannies.”  

The second type is one who simply cannot secure housing on campus due to the housing shortage but still wants to attend the school.  

My household advisor told me that she was once one of those students – she could not go to Franciscan out of high school because there was no housing. Instead, she attended a Catholic college in Maine. but she found it spiritually lacking and resolved to transfer as soon as possible.  

The next year, Franciscan again had no room for her, but she still wanted to attend so badly that she was willing to ask her mom to move with her to Steubenville so that she could live off campus.  

If someone is this passionate about Franciscan, worries about social integration of students who aren’t living in a dorm or other commonly cited concerns hardly seem relevant as reasons to bar them from entry to their dream school. 

The typical student should be living on campus, and it is likely that banning them from living anywhere else would not hurt them. However, Franciscan is not a typical college, so no student is completely typical. 

Franciscan students are adults – not children – and should be granted the latitude to make the best choice for themselves and their situation.