A normal student at Pacific University can walk down all the stairs of Gilbert Hall, cross University Avenue, and be on Cascade lawn in under five minutes. That’s right, it takes about five minutes to get from one side of campus to the other. Is this just another factor that contributes to Pacific’s tight-knit community or is it too close for comfort?
Cozy or stifling, students currently do not have the choice to move off campus until after living on-campus for two years, or until they meet certain off campus eligibility age requirements. Although Pacific is not alone in its requirement of a two year stay from students, neighboring Linfield requires three, it’s more common for universities to require a single year stay.
While some embrace the quirk as a convenient way to harbor relations with other students, others see it as a major social block. Living on campus means abiding by university rules meaning no pets, no candles, and weekend quiet hours. Of course living such a short distance from classes, work and friends has its perks – less parking worries if you live within walking or biking distance.
Though one has to question its true convenience on personal growth. Most second year students are between 19 and 21 years old and feel they are ready for the independence of having their name on the lease of an apartment separate from the hustle and bustle of life on campus.
Being pushed to live in, at best, a small apartment with a group of four or five other students doesn’t exactly scream, “I’m an adult with new found responsibilities.” The Boxer apartments have potential to be a huge incentive for recruiting new students.
Other universities, like California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo have multiple apartment complexes reserved specifically for students.
If Pacific University invested in more opportunities like this, students would have a common area off-campus with less supervision adequate for adults who are ready for the increased responsibility. Venturing into adulthood comes with its own challenges: bills, off campus jobs and yes – finding parking.
It would be beneficial to give students the opportunity to face these challenges when they believe they are ready, allowing them to mature without an extended campus stay.