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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The Battalion May 4, 2024

ResLife announces changes to housing policy

Many changes will be coming to on-campus housing in fall 2009, according to the Department of Resident Life at Texas A&M.
Some of the changes include all Commons dorms, except Mosher Hall, will become co-ed dorms by suite, meaning students of the same gender will share a bathroom; McFadden and Lechner Halls will be freshmen honors halls; washers and dryers will no longer be coin-operated because their cost will be included in dorm rent; and Moses Hall will be for incoming freshmen only.
Assistant Director of Resident Life Jeff Wilson said A&M policy requires residents of a dorm be offered the option to stay in that dorm even if the Department of Resident Life changes who lives there. This means a migration of students could take up to three years for any given hall.
Wilson said the freshmen-only honors halls are needed for changes in the policy identifying incoming freshmen as honors students.
Edward Funkhouser, executive director of the Honors Program, said “Traditionally honors housing was only available to incoming freshmen who received scholarships from the University.” After a policy change, all honors eligible freshmen will have the option to stay in honors halls regardless of their scholarship status.
Wilson said rental rates have yet to be determined by the Board of Regents, but expects them to increase by as much as 3 percent.
Though a portion of the increase can be attributed to including laundry costs in the rent, Wilson said it’s not the sole reason. “I’d also like to dismiss the rumor that rates on the laundry facilities are being increased and hidden within next year’s rent,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the University pays for dorm construction by getting a 20-year bond.
“They get a 20-year bond, so it is kind of like a mortgage,” he said. He added that the newest dorms were built more than 20 years ago, which is why the University is looking for new construction.
Ron Sasse, director of Residence Life, said the rents for next year still need to increase, even though the existing bonds are about to be paid off.
“We’re already planning new construction,” Sasse said. “We’ve got to compete with some of the off-campus options.”
Sasse explained parents regularly call to ask why Residence Life does not offer upscale housing options like the Calloway House. And he said the continued higher rents will help pay for bonds used to build the newer housing options.
Sasse said the University is going to do an assessment of the life expectancy of current on-campus buildings to determine whether they should be renovated or torn down. He said the last assessment was completed at least two decades ago.
That means plans for construction are beginning before an assessment of the cost of renovation of current on-campus units – at on-campus resident expense.
Landlines will not be available to students in dorms.
“Actually, we took them out starting about a year ago,” Wilson said. “Students still have access to one land line phone per floor for emergencies. Or they can have a line installed for $90 for the fall and spring semesters.”
An administrator for Computing Information Services said – though it is not advertised – a VoIP option, which allows for speech communication to be transmitted through the Internet, is available to on-campus students at a $45 per semester cost. The option uses a different network than the ResNet, which allows better signal integrity.

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