LUCC considers changes to group housing policies

By Peter Winslow

The application process for formal group and theme housing has been the subject of much discussion over the past several years at Lawrence. This past Sunday, Oct. 4, junior Malcolm Lunn-Craft and sophomore Dan Commins, members of the Lawrence University Community Council (LUCC) Residence Life Committee, shared steps LUCC has been taking in order to better suit the process to students.

Commins stated, “Last year, there was a proposal from Campus Life that was brought to us, and then to the [LUCC] General Council, to make all group housing applications under one policy. […] The process felt especially rushed for students.” Commins further explained that the Campus Life administration would rather leave the authority of overseeing group housing to students.

Lunn-Craft, explaining how LUCC was planning on dealing with these issues with the legislation this year, said, “It is going to be a three-step process. First, we are going to gather information from every group that currently occupies a house and groups who could potentially acquire a house. We will be asking them what they like, any changes that they see fit and any little aspects that they want to get rid of.”

“The second step will be the actual formation of our legislation. Our goal is to make the process less confusing as well as incorporating the input from the groups around campus. The third is to have a finalized application process by Spring Term, when the housing process kicks off for the coming year.”

According to Lunn-Craft and Commins, when suggesting potential changes to group housing legislation, some groups reiterated the rushed feeling and confusion of last year’s process. They also wondered whether or not the formal group housing process could more closely reflect the theme housing process that is in place now. Lunn-Craft and Commins stated that these suggestions from current groups on campus will be considered and hopefully factored into the legislation for a cleaner, more concise group application process.

Groups interested in campus housing for the coming academic year will face the loss of all five student-occupied Union Street houses, as well as Sabin house. These houses will be repurposed for visiting faculty and guest speakers because the City of Appleton has zoned them strictly for single-family use. Commins explained that while students will be losing these houses as residences, “there are going to be four Colman lofts intended for group housing.” However, “the 14 spaces for group housing will unfortunately drop to 13.”

With this drop in the number of housing possibilities, there will be an even more competitive edge to attain group housing in the coming years. However, with revised and clearer applications, the Residence Life Committee hopes it will be a much simpler and proactive process for campus groups applying for a house.