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This document states why the students of University of Wisconsin-Stout entering their sophomore year should be allowed to live off campus with the following requirement of having an accumulative grade point average of a 3.0 or higher in their freshman year. The purpose is to motivate students to work harder, and provide a comfortable living environment for the students. Many students living on campus have several problems in the residence halls including overall sanitation, poor eating habits, potential health risks, various disturbances and distractions. By allowing students to move off campus going into their sophomore year, they will have the ability to avoid these problems their second year of college, save money in the long run and provide them with the skills needed to be successful in the future.
While attending the University of Wisconsin-Stout, I have found numerous problems that several students have with some of the enforced policies. Currently, the University of Wisconsin-Stout has a policy that states, “Those freshman and sophomore students (59 credits or less) who are not veterans, married or living with parents or legal guardian (within a 40-mile radius of Menomonie) shall be required to live in a university-operated residence hall when such accommodations are available.”
This policy on housing is enforced to keep younger students on campus, and focused more on school, rather than other things that may be distracting that occur off-campus. Not all students need this rule imposed upon them to stay focused on school. Many students have their priorities well set, and would be able to handle the responsibility and balances of living off campus. If a student proves that they can handle the responsibilities by earing a 3.0 or higher grade point average in their freshman year, they should be given the choice to move off campus their sophomore year. A new policy can be made that states: “Freshman students (23 credits or less), or sophomore students (24 credits or more) who received lower than a 3.0 grade point average in their previous year, who are not veterans, married, or living with parents or legal guardian (within a 40-mile radius of Menomonie) shall be required to live in a university-operated residence hall when such accommodations are available.”
Our research incorporated collecting information on the differences living on-campus compared to living off-campus. Our main focus was on cleanliness, health risks, eating habits, common distractions and disturbances, and the comfort of living within students. Most of our research was done on the Internet, looking through recent journals, experiments, and research that other professionals have done on this subject.
Many freshmen students or students heading into their sophomore year have a problem with UW-Stouts policy on off-campus housing. They believe that they should have the right to choose their living situation, after their freshman year. Students tend to struggle with the sanitation in the residence halls. With several people living in such a small space, it is tough to keep things sanitized. With that being said, there are numerous health risks including, colds, influenza, pneumonia, etc. Another issue shown in students living in the residence halls is their poor eating habits. Living in the dorms makes it difficult to prepare and cook healthy meals. Additionally, there are a lot of disturbances and distraction. Many students prefer to study and do their homework in their room, where they are most comfortable. Living in a residence hall can be loud at times, especially at night. Some students also find it hard to sleep when there are loud noises and multiple students walking throughout the halls, which can lead to sleep deprivation. All of these issues can result in poor outcomes in student’s results.
The purpose of this document is to argue that students heading into their sophomore year, with an accumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher should be allowed to choose their living situation. By having this requirement, this will motivate students to do well in their freshman year. Changing this rule may also attract more students to the University of Wisconsin-Stout because many students are eager to move into their own apartment or house and take on the responsibility and freedom of being a young adult.
In the following pages, we will detail the following topics:
Criteria and Research
In constructing this recommendation, a lot of research went into understanding the University of Wisconsin-Stout’s housing policy and why the committee of housing chooses to enforce these polices.
Many memories, opportunities and relationships are formed in a student’s first year of college. Living on campus can be quite the experience, but many students grow tired of staying in the dorms after their freshman year. Most freshman students at UW-Stout came to this university right from high school, where the majority of them lived with their parents. Living in the dorms can be a drastic change for many. Going from being taken care of your parents, having them do everything for you, to living in a small space with another person while being watched by a resident assistant and being fed from a meal plan. A bigger transition is being held in dorms for two years then being able to move out and not knowing what to do or how to cook.
Many people may think that living on campus allows students to become more involved with university activities. No matter a student’s living situation, college life is what you make of it. Living off campus does not stop you from participating from anything on campus. Social networking has made it easier for all students to get involved. Dorum, Bartle, and Pennington (2009) observe the “sense of belonging” in students living on campus versus students living off campus. Many students think choosing to live on campus will increase the opportunities to develop new friendships, and getting involved in activities. However, online social networking has been a strong advocate for students. In a recent study, they have found that more than half, 55%, of students had joined Facebook prior to college to make new friends, while 43% of students had joined immediately after starting university. Nearly ¾ of the students said that Facebook had played a huge role in“` helping them settle in. A questionnaire was formed to measure student’s view of life at university. The questionnaire measured a student’s attitude towards various aspects of student life and the sense of belonging to the university. The results were fairly even between students living on campus versus living off campus.
A great deal of our research was related to health. In a dietary analysis recorded by Brevard and Ricketts (1996), the differences in energy and nutrient intakes and serum lipid levels between men and women living on and off campus is investigated There were a total of 104 participants, 81% were women, and 19% were men; 51% lived on campus. There is a table with evident information on this study. The table reveals the mean energy and nutrient intake of college students living on and off campus. Percentage of energy from protein was significantly higher for students living off campus. This result may indicate that students living off campus are choosing different types of foods than those served in the cafeteria to students living on campus due to the availability of healthier foods that are accessible off campus. The statistics show that students living on campus do not consume the appropriate nutrients needed for a healthy lifestyle.
(2013) determined whether or not living on campus in a residence hall versus living off campus was related to the effects of Fit into College on student’s health behaviors. Fit for College was a 14-week intervention in which trainees teamed up with an intern to improve healthy nutrition and physical activity behaviors. Regardless of their residency location, the trainees improved on their perceptions of health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. However, for the trainees living in a residence hall, on a campus meal plan, the intervention was not as effective as it was for the trainees living off campus. The trainees living in the residence halls claimed that they did not have a lot of access to fresh fruits and vegetables. They also claimed that they did not have access to other healthy foods, and were not able to prepare healthy foods on their own. Living on campus, in a residence hall may make it hard for students to access fresh fruit and vegetables and healthy foods when hungry. Living off campus or in a university-sponsored apartment gives students a full kitchen and fridge to store healthy foods and prepare a healthy dinner.
With such a small area with many students, there are several sicknesses that can go around in the residence halls. Experts Cindy White, Robin Kolble, Rebecca Carlson, and Natasha Lipson (2005) discuss the impact of a health campaign on hand hygiene and upper respiratory illness among college students living in residence halls. Young adults are more prone to become ill from colds and influenza. It is more common for a college student that lives in the residence halls to get sick, because the student is exposed to more groups of people. There is evidence that students’ illnesses have a negative influence on their academic performance. According to the American College Health Association (ACHA), in 2002, 22% of students reported that sicknesses such as the cold, flu or soar throat has had a negative impact on their academic performance. Also, once a student becomes ill, it may be hard for them to become healthy again, because of the fact that illnesses spread so easily in large groups of people. Living in a apartment or house, private or sponsored by the university, would help for a faster healing of a sickness because the student is not surrounded by other sick students or crowded in a tiny space that is hard to keep clean and healthy.
In our research, we also discovered that loud noises and disturbances late at night that occur in the residence halls could lead to sleep deprivation. Jeffrey S. Durmer, and David F Dinges (2005) discuss the consequences of sleep deprivation. The most common affects of sleep deprivation are slow response time, irritability, tiredness, difficulties with memory and concentration, learning problems, blurred vision, discomfort, alterations in appetite, and activity intolerance. This can also affect your working memory skills. Living in the residence halls can be a struggle when it comes to sleeping. Many people are inconsiderate and loud, making it hard to sleep for others. In result, many students have sleep deprivation, causing them to do poor in school and daily tasks.
According to Perkins and Wesley (2014), they state that students who saw the traditional norm to drink in college were more heavily influenced to do so by living on campus, rather than off campus. The source also states that the students drinking on campus tend to drink more heavily than those who live off campus. These results are very surprising because it is much easier to get into trouble in the residence halls than it is while living on your own or off campus.
One solution to this issue would be implementing university-sponsored housing throughout campus that is open to sophomores. Living in an on campus apartment would be similar to the dorms with activity, involvement and security from the residence assistants. It would benefit students who like to have their own space, for privacy, cleanliness, less disturbances, and ability to cook healthy meals. Another solution would be allowing sophomore students to move off campus, into their own apartment or house. This would include the same benefits of living in an on campus apartment, plus more freedom.
We came to the conclusion that the university housing policy regarding on-campus living needs a change. The best solution is to this problem is university sponsored housing. Using this solution, students will still be monitored by resident assistants, and will be on-campus, focused on school. Also, we determined from research that there is no known direct correlation between students GPA who live in residence halls, and those who live off campus. In conclusion, we think the University of Wisconsin-Stout should implement university-sponsored housing for the students.
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