Redman

Check out this blitz he sent:

Good day to all.

I am writing to let you know of a problem confronting both the College and CFS system. All of you should be aware of our historic issues regarding lack of undergraduate housing. While the College is engaged in the permitting process with Hanover and completing final construction documents for new residence halls, those facilities will not open for several years.

Normally, we have been able to accommodate those who remain on our housing wait list by the time classes start. I am sorry to say that at this point on August 20 I am very nervous about our ability to do that. Let me explain why.

For comparison purposes, last summer (03) on August 15 we had 51 students on the wait list and were able to accommodate them by opening day. This summer (04) on August 15, 110 students remain on the wait list. I do not believe that an additional 50-60 students based upon last years information will decide to change their D Plan to something other than being in Hanover between now and opening day.

I have tried to understand where the increased demand has come from. While there are multiple explanations I could provide one is a hard fact that is not easy to ignore. In the summer of 2003 within the greek system all but a few houses were filled to at least their minimum capacity and many were at their maximum capacity. As of today, the greek system as a whole is 46 students short of meeting minimum capacity figures. At the same time many of the organizations who are below their minimun capacity have members residing in the residence halls. Some may be UGA’s but most are not.

I have several greek organziations that are not even at 50% occupancy. About half a dozen with 4 to 7 vacancies and many who have one or two vacancies to fill to reach minimum. Only six organizations are at their minimum number or above.

I believe this is a shared issue for several reasons:

1. All of those on the wait list are rising sophomores. The very ones that we intend to participate in rush and join our organizations in October. If they cannot secure housing, they will not be here to participate in rush in the fall and we all will suffer.

2. If the vacancies persist and I was one of these students, I would not be highly inclined to join a greek organization that had members who could fill their house but did not. The student and their family would look at it that the CFS student took away the space I should have had since I did not have other options.

3. Finally, there is the financial impact. If houses do not meet minimum in the fall it will undoubtedly have an impact the organizations budget. The only way I can imagine to cover the operational costs is to increase dues to all members or to divert existing funds to purposes they were not originally intended for. Less social to pay the taxes for example. In addition, some of these orgainzations are in the process of applying for loans to complete fuller audit work. Those groups are using income from rents to cover the debt. Those applications so far have been based on at least meeting minimum capacity. I can only speak for myself, but I would be hard pressed to approve a loan when at the time of application the revenue expectations to meet the loan obligation cannot be met.

Those are the facts and my opinions.

I am requesting your assistance to help me with this situation. For those groups who have not meet their minimum capacity obligations I ask you to fill those spaces. In order to fill the spaces so that I can accommodate those sophomores on the wait list, you must fill those spaces with students who have an R in the D Plan for fall term and who are currently assigned to traditional residence hall. Bringing people in from off campus does not help me one bit. Housing students who are on a leave term does not help me one bit. If you are to be helpful I need to be able to assign the wait list students to the residence halls hence people moving into your facilities need to come from the residence halls.

Please contact Alison Harmon in the Housing Office to get current information regarding you occupancy. You can email her on campus or call the housing office at 603-646-3089. I shared this information with the CFS advisors who attended Wednesday evenings quarterly meeting. I told them that I would be sending out this note to all. At our next advisors quarterly meeting I anticpate discussing why this situation is different than in the past and what we collectively can do about it.

I apologize for the the terse nature of this note. On our part I am actively engaged in trying to rent local housing and converting lounges to bedspaces for maybe 45 to 50 students. Our offices here have been as creative as we can be to meet the sophomores need. The only avenue I have remaining to me is to encourage you to meet your minimum capacity obligation as outlined in the CFS Policies and Recognition documents.

I will be happy to answer any general questions and Alison can answer specific capacity versus occupancy numbers.

Martin Redman

Dean of Residential Life

I have a few other suggestions, which Redman is sure to love:

  • Let students live in Zete.

  • Let sophomores live in the fraternities in the Fall, when they are at the greatest disadvantage from a housing standpoint.

  • Don’t insult the frats’ intelligence by justifying this request by saying that prospective brothers might not rush because they didn’t have a full house, among other things.

Don’t a lot of houses, especially the nationals, already pull their brothers in at the last minute? When I was an undergrad, I had a friend who de-pledged AZD because they tried to force her to live there and she was the manager of the football team, which meant she had to be up at four every morning, and living in a sorority house just isn’t conducive to that. I also remember my house losing a boarder because Psi U forced him to live there.

I feel bad for the kids who aren’t going to get housing, but I wish the Administration would take a little more responsibility for this whole mess.

When they admitted the Class of 2005, it was the biggest class ever. It was so big, in fact, that they had to offer $5000 to get more students to defer, and then build the Tree Houses. Now the 05s are seniors, and they all have to be in residence this fall, so the 07s are screwed.

And now they want the frats to bail them out.