Full House

The Burlington City Council’s proposal to increase the on-campus student population may have good intentions, but we at The Cynic feel that the proposal is missing a crucial perspective: the students’.By requiring 70 percent of the student body to live on campus, this proposal could act as a partial remedy to the overcrowding in downtown Burlington.Yet as it stands right now, the proposal is neither realistic nor desirable. However, we have some suggestions to offer the City Council in order to ensure that the proposal caters to students’ wants and needs, while still being practical.We suggest that, instead of simply building new residence halls on the current campus, the University should also look into purchasing or leasing property in the downtown area, giving a certain number of upperclassmen the opportunity to enjoy a higher level of independence from the main campus.Specifically, The Cynic suggests that properties such as Redstone Apartments, Hill Gardens or even a set of houses in the predominantly student-leased Isham and Loomis Street areas be converted to the apartment-style housing being considered in the proposal.  By focusing on these sorts of properties, the University can not only help landlords by signing secure multi-year leases, but help students by providing apartments that meet a blanket set of building conditions.Additionally, by housing students in particular locations within the downtown area, the University can ease the stress placed on the Burlington community that results from large numbers of students living in more residential neighborhoods, such as those of Booth and School Streets.By containing portions of the student body in specific areas of Burlington, the University could enjoy improved relations with the non-University population as a whole, increasing the cohesiveness of the two communities.Additionally, although the students would be in a specifically designated part of town, they would feel more a part of the community, something they otherwise would be missing by living on campus.More than affecting the downtown community, The Cynic believes that renovation of such properties can improve the quality of life for underclassmen living in traditionally overcrowded dorms such as Trinity and Redstone campuses.The widespread practice of putting three students into a room built for two creates unnecessary tensions within the student body that could easily be remedied by putting students in the larger rooms that exist at many of these properties.However, The Cynic agrees, that in addition to downtown properties being made a part of UVM, more buildings need to be made on campus. These buildings, however, should be different from typical dorm-style housing. If Juniors are required to live on campus, we suggest the building of apartment-style housing for upperclassmen, providing the independence and autonomy juniors want and need.All in all, by adding desirable housing on campus, and giving students the option of living off campus in University apartments, students will have better relations with the downtown community and still feel a sense of independence.