Why students should be granted open commuting policy

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OPINION

Living on campus is about becoming a part of the school and community. Student housing at Ashland University gives students a feeling of belonging and existence into Ashland culture and also helps students focus on academics and develop a lifestyle.

A certain percentage of students at AU do not care about how the school should change the policy because they come from the area which is within 35 driving miles from the Ashland or Mansfield campus. But, for the students coming from other states in the U.S. or even overseas, it seems that they have no choice but to stay on campus.

Everything has two sides, good or bad. It sounds like living on campus will benefit students a lot, however, it all depends on how your own situation is. In my opinion, the school should give us a chance to decide.

For me, I spent my first two years on campus living in the dorm and move out to commute after turning 22 this summer. However, I transferred from China and changed my major and minor. Counting my two years in college overseas, this is my fifth year of college.

Let us say a student graduates from high school at the age of 18. He will spend his next four years studying in AU. When he finishes school and gets his undergraduate degree, he is only 22 years old, which means he will spend all his college life on campus.

Also, the dorm itself does not seem to satisfy all students’ needs. Apart from Andrews Hall, the living halls have no air conditioning.

In September, Ashland is hot and temperatures will hit a high of 95 degrees. You can feel yourself steaming in a three-person dorm instead of going to any sauna rooms.

Pricing also matters. Living on campus, you will be charged for almost 2,300 US dollars per semester. Another 2,400 US dollars which you have to pay for your meal plan are also charged in every non-commuter students’ account.

Affordable tuition is always a strength of AU and these years it even becomes a tagline for recruiting overseas students. However, adding on the fees for your dorm and meal plan into tuition, the school seems to lose its strength.

For example, State University of New York at Binghamton is a NCAA DI school which has a top 80 ranking all over America and its tuition in spring 2018 is almost the same as Ashland. However, AU only ranks 230 and is a DII school in Ohio.

Considering from different aspects, living on campus has its own benefits and weaknesses,but the school should cancel or just make the age limitation lower — this way it gives everyone the freedom of decision.

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