Baker changes affect housing for seniors

Martin Donovan, Staff Writer

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Luther’s decision to provide exclusively single rooms in Baker Village contributed to an increase in denied applicants for the 2018-19 academic year.

This year 17 groups who applied for Baker housing were turned down, while 18 groups were accepted. Six groups were denied Baker housing for 2017-18 and seven were turned down the previous year.

However, Assistant Dean of Student Life and Director of Residence Life Kris Franzen said that the single room only policy was not the sole contributor to the rise in denied applications.

“I believe one of the reasons for the increase of applications was that students could apply in groups of six or four,” Franzen said. “Not all students can find a group of six students to live with, and the four person units were very popular this year. I anticipate we will have another good year next year for Baker applications.”

There are currently 106 students living in Baker Village, which can house up to 112 residents. However, only 96 students were approved to live in Baker next year. Additionally, due to Luther’s low enrollment, the single-room policy for Baker Village will bring about minimal change for senior housing and residence halls in the next academic year.

“Each Prairie House is seven residents and that will not change,” Franzen said. “Each college apartment is a double so that will not change. We have housing for over 2,000 students on campus, and a few beds will not have a noticeable impact on the halls.”

According to Franzen, Luther’s room draw process allows the 90 students who were denied Baker housing to apply for other options on campus.

“We are fortunate at Luther to have so many housing options, and our room draw is set up to allow students that don’t get one option to apply for another option,” Franzen said. “I have worked at colleges in the Iowa Conference where students live in the same standard double room building all four years.”

Despite the minimal changes, some students were disappointed in the lack of publicity surrounding the changes in Baker Village by Luther.

“I think it’s pretty unfortunate that this is the way that it turned out,” Stefan Hankerson (‘19) said. “It makes sense that the administration went this way with low enrollment, but I found out on a poster stuck somewhere in a dorm that wasn’t very noticeable and never really heard anything from [Residence Life] directly.”

Isiah Herout (‘19) echoed this sentiment.

“I remember hearing about the housing policy change for next year but that was about it,” I didn’t know exactly what that meant,” Herout said. “I wish there would have been more ways that the college could have distributed that information.”

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