2018-2019 Housing Issues

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 1.51.49 PM.png

Grace Cavanaugh ~ Staff Writer

It is that time in the school year where students must decide where they want to live for the next year. There are many options open to students, including University-owned houses, townhouses, and apartments. Many gravitate towards these options because of the sense of independence living in a house can bring.

The Director of Housing and Residence Life, Kristen Cooper, said, “As of Feb. 18, 2019, we have 1,361 undergraduate students living in University of Lynchburg Housing.” The Housing Coordinator for the University of Lynchburg, Terry Bodine, says that, “[f]or 2019-2020, we have space in University-owned apartments, townhouses, and houses to accommodate 618 undergraduate students.”

Amanda Linehan, a sophomore that lives with three other women, said, “I find that having a house is much better than living in a dorm. I enjoy having a larger space than just a room to call my own.” Laura-Katie Elphee, a sophomore Southside RA, said, “I do not live in a house, but I think living in one of the houses provides more privacy and opportunity to make your space feel like home. I love my apartment, [it is] much easier to share the space with a few people than with a whole floor of girls.”

Some of these houses, however, are very old, and many students have complaints about their house. Linehan said, about her house, “We have had a lot of trouble with mold – especially in the warmer weather when [it is] much more humid.” Her housemate, senior Kelsey Kaiser, agreed, saying, “We have a mold problem in the bathroom that maintenance still has yet to come and fix.”

According to Cooper, “From August 6, 2018, to Jan. 31, 2019, there had been a total of 2,198 work orders placed for residential areas. Based on the work orders submitted by Housing and Residence Life staff during that period, the average number of days between submission of work orders and when it was marked completed by the Physical Plant staff was 8.46…total days, not just business days. Of the 1,491 work orders completed by the Housing and Residence Life staff, 60% were marked as completed by the Physical Plant staff within 5 days.”

Physical Plant was unavailable for comment.

Bodine however noted that house renovations for some of the older University-owned houses are constantly being evaluated. She said, “Facilities upgrade needs are evaluated on an annual basis through the University’s Summer Projects committee.”

There are some plans to renovate houses, specifically those belonging to fraternities on Vernon Street. “There are a bunch of cracks in the ceilings and the walls, as well as the foundation,