Mary Grace von Thron, Campus Carrier deputy news editor

Berry’s Office of Residence Life recently announced that rising seniors will be able to live off-campus during the 2021-2022 school year.

The decision to do this came after a rise in admissions applicants and a strong retention rate.

According to Associate Dean of Students Lindsay Norman, the incoming freshman class is projected to be larger than previous years at Berry based the number of applications received by the Office of Admissions this year. 

“The Office of Admissions communicates with us pretty regularly and it looks like a very promising incoming class,” Norman said.

Dean of Students Lindsey Taylor elaborated on the logistics and planning that goes behind figuring out housing for students.

“When you are running at full occupancy, everything has to align just right,” Taylor said. “Gender breakdown has to be just right. If you’re at capacity there’s no room for roommate issues or room change.”

The Office of Residence Life does not plan on providing resources for students who are looking for apartments due to a lack of relationship with landlords and apartment managers who are local to Rome.

“We don’t have a specific relationship with local resources, so for me to put together a list [of resources], I could miss something,” Taylor said.

Taylor also mentioned that students who have applied to live off-campus next year should keep in mind that being accepted to live off-campus is not guaranteed.

“Just because you apply does not mean automatic approval because we are looking at a certain number” Taylor said.

If a large number of students apply to live off-campus, a waitlist could potentially be created for students.

According to Taylor, 20 students will be allowed to live off-campus next year.

“it’s not a huge number, cause right now we’re not anticipating a huge housing crunch, this is just to relive some pressure,” Taylor said.

According to an email sent out to Berry students from Residence Life on Feb. 10, any rising senior interested in applying for off-campus housing must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher, over ninety hours as of fall semester 2020, and a good conduct standing.

Having a good conduct and record will be a large deciding factor for students.

“We are considering conduct, when we make our choice,” Norman said.” So, if we feel like if there’s a student who has been compliant and has been respectful then our confidence will grow in their application.”

Students living off-campus are also expected to abide by Berry’s COVID-19 policies. 

“We do want students to self-regulate their spaces in a way that would be consistent to on campus” Norman said.

If Residence Life is informed that a student has repeatedly violated the code of conduct while living off-campus, they can be asked to relocate back to on-campus housing.

Students living off-campus do not have to room with another Berry student.

“If you’re to live off campus, we’re not tracking where you’re living.” Taylor said. “We’re not tracking who you’re living with. In any situation, you know, if you’re living with anyone, whether it’s Berry student or non-Berry student, students need to vet who you’re agreeing to live with, and you need to be intentional about who you live with. That’s just a life skill.” 

Taylor also recommends students carefully research their options for living off-campus.

“If this is something that you want to pursue, really do a cost analysis,” Taylor said.

Applications for off-campus housing are due tomorrow and can be found and completed on the Berry Housing portal.

Posted by Campus Carrier

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