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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

UALR teacher urges dorm exception for local students

Posted By on Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 6:49 AM

DORMS FOR ALL? A UALR faculty member says local students living at home should be exempted from a new rule requiring freshmen to live in dorms.
  • DORMS FOR ALL? A UALR faculty member says local students living at home should be exempted from a new rule requiring freshmen to live in dorms.

The blog brought first news last Sunday of UALR's plans to require dorm residency for entering freshmen in the fall of 2013. We mentioned then that the policy had some detractors, in part for fear of lost competitiveness. The school believes national experience shows the practice increases college completion rates.

A member of the faculty Senate has passed along a copy of the UALR policy on exceptions to the mandatory dorm rule.

Nickolas Jovanovic, a member of the Faculty Senate, notes in a letter to Vice Chancellor Charles Donaldson that the policy doesn't provide an automatic exception for students who are living at home with parents or guardians. It's unclear whether a student from Little Rock or nearby who cited this would be granted an exception on this ground as a "mitigating circumstance." He says this sets the UALR policy apart from those in operation at UCA and UA-Fayetteville. He comments:

I like the idea of more students living on campus. The campus already has a different and better feel because of a larger population of students living on campus. However, I simply do not understand why UALR would want to force students who live nearby with their parents to move into campus housing, especially those students who will need to take out more student loans to pay for these mandatory room and board contracts. UALR should be trying to help students graduate with less debt, not more.

I encourage you to consider adding an explicit exception for students living with their parents or legal guardians within the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or some other well-defined geographical area. That would make UALR's policy similar to the policies at UAF and UCA.

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