940 students received approval from the Office of Housing and Residential Education to live off-campus in the 2019-2020 school year; a notably higher number when compared to recent years.
Typically, Vanderbilt University tries to keep as many students as possible in residential housing. In the 2018-2019 year, only about 350 students were given permission to live off-campus due to the new accommodations made available by East Bronson Ingram.
However in the 2019-2020 academic year, due to the demolishment of Carmichael Towers West, Senior director of Housing Operations, Jim Kramka, reported that Vanderbilt’s on-campus housing will be as many as 894 beds short.
Lacking available on-campus residencies, applications to live off-campus next year were expanded to include rising juniors and seniors in the hopes that there would be enough volunteers that no student would unwillingly have to give up campus housing, Kramka said.
Of the 1123 students who applied for off-campus housing in the coming year, 811 were rising seniors and 280 were juniors. While Kramka expected more juniors to apply, generally the numbers were up to par with the expectations of the Office of Housing and Residential Education.
“There is a senior psychology where they almost feel entitled to the Carmichael Towers suites,” he said. “Looking at the loss of this very popular senior accommodation and the alternatives that generally do not satisfy what they are looking for, we expected and received a large number of applications for off-campus.”
A seniority-driven lottery was used to determine which students would be allowed to live off-campus. Rising juniors and seniors could apply individually or in groups of up to three students, where juniors were allotted three points and seniors alloted four in the lottery. Taking point totals into account, the Office of Housing and Residential Education then selected students randomly. All seniors who applied were granted permission, and then the left over spots were given to juniors.
One of these 940 students is rising senior Riko Lee, who will be leaving behind her Towers suite for an apartment in Elliston 23, the complex right above Nama. “While the amenities of living are vastly different, the amount I pay at Elliston will be comparable to what I already pay on-campus,” she said. “I am excited to put some distance between where I work and and where I get to relax and practice self-care.”
While some current sophomores did receive permission, not all of them are taking advantage of the offer. Sophomore Grace Manges applied and was permitted to live in off-campus housing next year; however, due to the small percentage of her grade who was also granted off-campus housing, she is choosing to forgo the opportunity.
“I was given the impression a lot of my grade would get it, but when half of our group was granted off-campus and the other wasn’t, we decided it wasn’t worth it to accept the offer,” Manges said.