During Tuesday evening’s housing meeting, Residence Life announced future changes to housing policy and meal plans. Most of the changes will not apply to current students and will take effect in the 2023-2024 academic year.
It was announced that beginning in the Fall of 2023, students will no longer be able to live off campus unless they are four years removed from high school, live with a parent or guardian, or are at least 23 years old.
Students will also no longer receive the housing discount currently available to students with 112 or more credit hours and will no longer be able to live with siblings as a way to live off campus.
The 65 block meal plan will also no longer be available. Instead, students will have three meal plan options: the current carte blanche meal plan, an 80 block meal plan, and a 40 block meal plan.
While it seems a lot of restrictions are being added, the college does plan to open more housing opportunities by bringing back some of the old intentional living communities (ILCs).
In addition to these changes set to take place in three years time, there are some smaller changes that will affect current students returning next year.
Students applying to live in an ILC will take part in a live interview rather than submitting a video application. The apartments will no longer have ILC space available, and will only be available as single-gendered housing. The remaining ILC options will be Howell, Kenwood, East Hall, Kulp West, and Kulp South.
Finally, ILCs will be required to have themes and have an advisor to help plan two events each year.
“I think the dream of the ILCs hasn’t been fulfilled,” said Corie Steinke, director of student involvement. “We’re adding structure to bring more intention to the houses impact on the Goshen campus beyond the house walls. We aren’t asking students to do anything extra, we are just formalizing it.”
Goshen College had announced some of these changes last year, but retracted them two days later after pushback from students. Chad Coleman, director of safety and housing operations, said he and others planning the changes had not considered students who had already budgeted for housing arrangements years in the future.
This year, Coleman invited students onto the decision-making committee, which he said helped anticipate the students’ reactions and experience planning for housing.
Coleman said keeping more students in on-campus housing will help the college balance its budget moving forward and benefit both students and the college in the long term.
“How do we make it fair for both students and institutionally for us to have a sustainable model to be able to be the college we want to be?” Coleman said.
Coleman compared college housing and off-campus housing to dine-in and carry-out restaurant experiences.
“We want to offer our students the best dine-in experience possible,” he said
“I’m glad they’re making some changes,” said junior Patrick Webb at the housing meeting on Tuesday. “I wish current students could opt-in and benefit from some of them.”