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Op-Ed: Guarantee Senior Week Housing for Graduating Commuter Students by 2017

Julie Hall

Photo credit: Sophia Berardinelli ’19

Alright, so let’s talk about the unsung commuters at Emmanuel, in plain language.

We have a separate lounge on campus, but I won’t disclose where. I’d like it to remain secret from resident students who aren’t supposed to use the limited space.

You know who you are.

In EC terms, we’re not really a coordinated bunch; we work long hours to pay rent, to pay for gas, to pay tuition, for the T and the commuter rail. We’ve always been in your classes. Even on days when the roads are icy. We’ve been in faultless winter car accidents for an 8 AM. We endure(d) the MBTA and every stalled train, every switch problem, every adjusted schedule and “bad weather day.”

And a lot of us commuters made it to Senior Week. Let’s say around 300.

All of us – resident students, commuters and Fall semester grads – deserve the right to participate during senior week. Part of that right should include temporary housing to live on campus during Senior Week, traditionally offered in Julie Hall.

I’ll just cut right to the chase: commuter students poised to graduate didn’t get a fair shot at reserving beds for senior week.

Any precedent that would accommodate the need to house commuter students for senior week risks displacing the resident students who get first pick of the available beds. Residents pay room and board, so they’re the priority.

Okay? Move the senior week housing spillover to Joe’s. Move it to the underutilized but-essential-to-the-mission Notre Dame campus; move it anywhere within the Emmanuel domain. I’d be willing to go without air conditioning for a few days. I don’t believe there should be a moratorium on space when it’s available, especially for five days.

Commuter students were allowed to ask gracious friends who currently live in Julie Hall to reserve a spare bed in their name. Full disclosure: that took care of me. But many commuter students did not have that opportunity. I’m sure the best efforts were made to place everyone accordingly. But for the commuter population at large, we got one last minute e-mail notifying us that 8 beds in Julie remained after final placement.

You can imagine that after a few minutes every space was filled. The exception is, we’re told, as a commuter you can stay in Julie even without a bed reserved – as someone’s guest.

That’s not an assurance. We aren’t anonymous guests. We attended this college and some of us live far away.

I’m just telling you, the commuter and resident student alike, how it went down this year so you’ll know. And so you can ask your own questions.

We are bound to train schedules, discontinued late night T service and by pure mileage. Please fix this. For the Class of 201 7, please incorporate commuter students in the general placement for housing during senior week.

And have a good time, everyone.

Paul Rowley ’16 is a Staff Writer and Columnist for The Hub. Follow him on Twitter @ThePaulMonitor or e-mail him

Posted by on May 5, 2016. Filed under Around Campus,Opinions & Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to Op-Ed: Guarantee Senior Week Housing for Graduating Commuter Students by 2017

  1. not a sjw

    May 6, 2016 at 2:51 am

    everyone wines about everything its crazy. i dont think its a simple as you seem to think it is.