Campus living requirements draw mixed reviews from freshmen


Freshmen students are required to live on campus their first year of school unless they live in the area already. Some students have shown mixed reactions to the policy | Bailey Monteith for The Easterner

By Kaitlyn Engen , Reporter

EWU freshmen and transfer students are well aware of the on-campus living requirement for first year students.

As students also know, there is the waiver option, should they choose off-campus living.

EWU Housing and Residential has based its live-on policy on research saying that on-campus living brings more academic and social benefits, as well as higher graduation rates, for first-year college students.

Heather Patton, Rachel Backell, and Momoko Hamasaka, all current EWU dormitory residents, had some insights into dorm life and how the live-on requirement impacts students.

All three had positive things to say about life in the dormitories at EWU.

“I like the fact that you get so much information and opportunities when you live in the dorm,” said Backell, a sophomore living in Louis Anderson Hall. “[Dorm life] makes you feel like you’re at camp.”

Momoko Hamasaka, a junior international transfer student from Tokyo, Japan living in snyamncut Hall, said she felt very comfortable in the dorms because she felt that they were very safe and clean–a comfort she needed while in her transition across the world to an English-speaking country.

“I am a very shy person by nature,” said Heather Patton, a freshman living in Louis Anderson Hall. “But living in the dorms and having the option to go to things definitely brought me out of my shell a little bit more.”

For Backell, dormitory life challenged her to be creative.

“It is weirdly wonderful because you have a lot of experiences where you’re like ‘well, only in dorm life is that gonna happen’—like you open up the door and you hear a Disney montage coming from the kitchen, and then someone comes up to your door five minutes later handing out cupcakes,” Backell said.

Hamasaka has had a unique dormitory experience coming from a non-English speaking country and facing the discomfort of language barriers.

“It is challenging to speak English,” said Hamasaka. “But my roommate introduced me to dorm people who actually helped me with my homework.”

Although these individuals had some good comments to say about EWU residential life, they all agreed on one downside to living in the dormitories: the cost.

The cost to live in the dormitories at EWU ranges from $6,228 to $7,832 total per year, not including the cost of a meal plan.

To put this in perspective, tuition at EWU averages about $6,242 per year.

All three girls noted that off-campus living would definitely be more cost effective, an important factor especially for students like Backell, who are paying their own way through school.

With all the pros and cons of EWU residential life and cost of living, questions are raised for many first-year students: “Would it be better for me to live on or off campus?” and “Do I support or reject the live-on requirement?”

“I was fine with [the live-on requirement] because I knew there was the option to get a waiver to live off campus,” said Patton. Hamasaka also expressed the same relief in having choice of living arrangements.

Backell noticed, though, that students may not have as much of a choice as they think. She said, “the waiver process is a lot more of an extensive than it is made out to be,” pointing out that some students she knew who wanted to live off campus were unable to get their waivers approved.

Patton and Backell have both made the decision to pursue off-campus housing for the 2018-2019 school year. Patton hopes to share an apartment with her current dormmate. Hamasaka has chosen to stay in snyamncut Hall next year.


Correction: On Feb. 14, The Easterner incorrectly reported that EWU was considering lifting the live-on requirement for first-year students for the 2018-19 school year. According to Josh Ashcroft, Senior Director of Housing and Residential Life, EWU has no plans to lift the first-year live-on requirement next school year.