Administration

Mandatory freshmen housing ‘singlehandedly sunk’ by senator


150:1A proposal that would make it mandatory for first time in college freshmen to live on campus starting Fall 2015 is “dead” after state senator and UH alumnus John Whitmire opposed it, citing financial implications and UH’s commuter reputation.

“There appear to be people in this administration that are not familiar with the trials and tribulations and challenges of the student body,” Whitmire said. “We have many working class families that barely can afford to pay tuition and books. They live at home, they work – often times supporting their families, parents, or siblings – and to uproot them and require them to live on campus was really not indicative that the administration understands their student body.”

Whitmire confirmed to The Cougar that the proposal was no longer being considered after a text message exchange with Chancellor Renu Khator.

“The university has assured me that it has been taken off the table and is dead,” Whitmire said. “I will continue to monitor it and take whatever steps are necessary to see that it never gets any life again.”

The proposal required first time in college freshman who live more than 20 miles from campus, are not married, and do not have a child to live on campus in UH housing. It included waivers for students who have a medical or ADA need, have financial difficulty, and who have a reason that deemed it counterproductive for them to live on campus.

Whitmire is also part of the finance committee of the Texas Senate, which he says contributes to his reasoning behind why the proposal is “illogical” and a “terrible conceived idea,” but holds no ill will towards Khator.

“I think (Khator) is probably the best thing to happen to UH in many, many years,” Whitmire said. “I think she does an outstanding job. I think she got some really poor advice from her team of managers, or administration and that alarms me.”

Whitmire graduated in 1975, when he got a Bachelor of Arts and then studied at UH’s Bates College of Law. He commuted during his time attending UH, working full-time and living in a two-bedroom apartment with his mom in Oak Forest, where he paid most of the rent.

“I had no choice but to commute if I wanted to attend a public university,” Whitmire said. “I worked my way through UH. That is very typical of the UH experience then and now. I can’t emphasize the diversity of the UH student body. And it’s not just ethnicity, but life circumstances.”

Students are taking out loans to finance their education that looks like a house note when they get through. They’re in debt, often times for the rest of their life. Why would you add the additional cost for housing when they were already provided housing by their family or their partner?” – Texas Senator John Whitmire

Constituents of Whitmire’s have contacted him with different reasons why the mandatory freshmen housing proposal would not work for them, citing undocumented parents, gay and lesbian relationships, and ethnic tradition as main reasons why they did not agree with the proposal.

“They’re first generation students and sometimes they do not feel comfortable with their young people living out of the home,” Whitmire said. “You’ve got a large part of our community that can’t get married. I’ve got young people that are members of families with undocumented parents, who feel like they need to be in the home, not on the UH campus residing.”

Because of his experience on the finance committee, Whitmire is determined to keep affordability to the students a main priority.

“It is unbelievable the cost of going to a public university. UH and other schools continue to raise tuition,” Whitmire said. “It is almost unaffordable to go to college if you’re from a very working class family. Students are taking out loans to finance their education that looks like a house note when they get through. They’re in debt, often times for the rest of their life. Why would you add the additional cost for housing when they were already provided housing by their family or their partner?”

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW?

Whitmire compares UH to Texas A&M University and the University of Texas, saying they are not commuter schools and that UH will never be a destination school, which may represent what some may consider the old UH – the age of commuters and limited campus life. Since Khator’s appointment in 2008, three new dorms, including both Cougar Villages and Calhoun Lofts have been built, and the demolition and reconstruction of Cougar Place in 2013, upped the number of beds on campus to 8,008, the second most in the state behind Texas A&M.

“I love this school and to me what he is saying there is that his degree, my degree, our degree, isn’t worth as much as UT or A&M’s. And I think that’s correct. Ours is worth more,” Student Government Administration President Charles Haston said. “Not everybody else sees it that way, and I’m afraid that he doesn’t even see it that way. And that’s really disappointing.”

Texas A&M and the University of Texas have a more Anglo based population, with more students who don’t work and come from a middle to upper class income, according to Whitmire.

“It’s a different student body, different experience,” Whitmire said. “No, we won’t ever be a Texas or A&M but we have the opportunity to be an outstanding university, which we have made great strides, and one of things that’s going to make us more outstanding than A&M and Texas is our diversity, the cultural communities that gather on the UH campus to attend class.”

“It disgusts me that a single alum of our university is given this much control over UH policy decisions, especially one that hasn’t attended the school in 40 years, when we’ve become such a vastly different place in just six.” – SGA senator Clint Kirchhoff

Under Khator’s leadership, graduation rates have increased academic progress, according to Haston. Data included in the original proposal presentation states that retention rates from year to year are higher when the student lives on campus, as opposed to commuting five times a week. The presentation also states that GPAs in students who lived on campus were on average higher than their commuting peers, somewhere between .01 and .11 percent, with more significant increases in students of Hispanic and African American ethnicity, whose GPAs were .16 and .23 percent higher.

“If you look at what Chancellor Khator has done since she’s been here, she has really moved the needle for this university,” Haston said. “At an institution of higher learning, though, what we should be doing is having conversations, and having educated conversations about how to continue moving that needle and how to continue making this university competitive and even more competitive with UT and A&M and it makes me really sad to see one of our most public alumni, like John Whitmire, slam the university that way.”

Haston also points out that the proposal was just a talking point for students, meant to start a conversation and rules were put in place in order to keep students who could not afford to live on campus or had any other reason to not live on campus be heard.

“If you actually look at what the proposal was, it was laden with all sorts of exemptions and the ability to appeal based on any number of things, including financial need,” Haston said. “There was not going to be a situation where there was a student that couldn’t afford to live here that would do that, who would end up being somehow displaced and not be able to attend the University of Houston. Although we used the word ‘mandatory,’ the number of exemptions and the ease at which the students could opt out of that was so significant that the notion that we would somehow be marginalizing students, like John Whitmire was when he was a student here, is just factually incorrect. And that’s what’s really frustrating for me.”

STUDENT REACTION

Student reaction to the proposal has been somewhat mixed, from supporters who think that mandatory freshman housing would push UH to a new level, to people thinking UH should stay a commuter school for the sake of affordability. Whitmire has been the only public opponent to the proposal and, according to Haston, “singlehandedly sunk this.”

“It disgusts me that a single alum of our university is given this much control over UH policy decisions, especially one that hasn’t attended the school in 40 years, when we’ve become such a vastly different place in just six,” SGA Senator Clint Kirchhoff said.

While the old and the new both have different approaches, when it comes down to it they both have a common goal: student success and affordability. Whitmire is lead to believe by some that this is really more about money and that this would hinder students in the long run, referring to private apartment complexes going up near UH that rival on campus living.

“I’m very appreciative of my UH experience,” Whitmire said. “I want UH to do well. I want UH to spend its money wisely. I would argue that UH deserves more money, which I do on a regular basis.”

State funding from the state to UH has decreased 33 percent over the last 30 years, which Haston says is a reason why affordability on campus has become a concern from Whitmire.

“I think that we need to make sure that we maintain affordability in education so that we are able to serve those students,” Haston said. “It’s actually more affordable for a student to live on campus and attend classes here than it is for them to have an apartment off campus. What we’re really trying to do is prevent the student who can afford to live off campus from living at a private apartment complex adjacent to campus.”

SGA has invited Whitmire to their first Senate meeting on September 3 in an effort for Whitmire to meet with students and discuss the situation further. At press time, Whitmire has not responded.

“I think one of the things that really is important as one of our alums, as a state senator, is that he actually engages in conversations with the students here,” Haston said. “What’s really disappointing is that we are trying to do everything possible to contribute to student success at the University of Houston. And if it is true, which it is, that the data shows that students who live on campus are statistically more likely to graduate, take more credit hours, graduate in time, and have higher GPAs, then why wouldn’t you want to do that, or at a minimum, have a discussion about doing that?”

[email protected]

Tags: , ,


  • micahtheblade

    I posted this on the other article, but I think it bears repeating. If you have an issue with Whitmire’s overreaching decision, let him know! Here’s his information:
    The Honorable John Whitmire
    P.O. Box 12068
    Capitol Station
    Austin, Texas 78711
    (512) 463-0115

    Local:
    803 Yale Street
    Houston, Texas 77007
    (713) 864-8701

  • http://VeryFunny. Mike Todd

    John and I graduated the same year.

    JOHN, THAT UH is gone forever. Back then A&M had just started allowing women in, and IT was a very male dominated place REMEMBER?

    The new UH is a VERY different place. This UH has thousands of students living on campus and has an infrastructure to support campus life, security, and very strong academics.

    Sure many students still live at home, but there are so many options now for education, that students who would meet our shared profile (I commuted from Baytown for a semester) now transfer in after freshman year with up to 60 Community College Credits. I used to commute (from Chambers Country actually) at 6 AM and I usually got home at 11 PM four and five days a week. A freshman on campus rule would have saved me from that regime (or I would have attended Lee College for a year). Adopting a 20, 25, or 30 mile limit for those who chose UH is a smart thing. Denying it becaue of a few student complaints isn’t smart. Indeed, it may be the the detriment of the students themselves. I would inspect the motives of the complainers more deeply and vet their true interests.

    Bet that wasn’t done, right?

    Surely an acceptable exemption can be drawn for students with that different life experience, who live at home, or for working students with a need for proximity to their jobs. But John, think about the gas not used, the rent not paid, the auto costs not incurred and the fast food not consumed, plus the gained hours of study.

    It’s just a no brainer. And it’s one year.

    Given UH’s recent metoric run, I feel that hand of unnamed land grant universities with deep pockets at work …..

  • steve

    Would have been a game changer but Whitmire kills the idea for mostly terrible reasons. Future alumni support would increased dramatically. Where was he in 1994 when the old SWC imploded and left UH out of the Big12. Gov Richards and Lt Gov Bullock were busy making sure their alma maters, Baylor and Texas Tech, didn’t get left out while Whitmire didn’t get his alma mater included in the Big12. That exclusion has cost us hundreds of millions of dollars. I hope Dr. Khator has a work around for this.

    • TimTomTl

      You’re upset that students aren’t being forced to pay $4000-$5000 more in cost to live on campus but you think that would help our athletic success?

      • steve saxenian

        Tim

        The proposal I had had had many exceptions which would make it relatively easy to work around the proposal so no one was going to be “forced” to do anything . Also freshman have many alternatives such as TSU, HCC, San Jac, UHDowntown, UHClearLake and Lone Star. As far as the athletics you mention, the student voted by a 2 to 1 margin to increase student fees to build the TXEDU Stadium and remodel Hofheinz Pavilion. In our culture, th eperception is that a university’s athletic department give value to a degree

        • Eagl3

          the students voted that way because the majority was new incoming freshmen and sophomores and they were brainwashed by making this sound like something cool and necessary for the schools success with excessive propaganda and pep rallies so they voted yes anyway. Until they matured a bit a few years later and realized that it was an excessive and useless endeavor simply there to bolster the publicity of the school and completely unnecessary to educational purposes. Trust me, I was one of those freshmen when they launched the vote…

  • Shar-day Campbell

    Kudos Senator Whitmire – thanks for taking a stand! #UHalumni

    • Aidan Bynum

      Yes let’s continue to accept UT and A&Ms scorn of our academics let’s continue to just be a second choice and last chance school

      The UH System now has plenty of perfectly good options for those who have finacial or life difficulties

      • Sonya H.

        Not so much. I went to UH for my Bachelors and am at UHCL for my Masters. UHCL is nice, but it doesn’t offer a lot of programs. UHD is nice, but it doesn’t offer a lot of programs. UH is better than these schools, there’s no denying it.

        • Aidan Bynum

          Then expand the programs there, allow UHD and UHCL to serve the commuters and financially challenged
          Allow UH to become the elite university the city needs it to become

      • Sonya H.

        It’s like your ashamed of UH or something. Like you want it to become something it’s not nor will it ever be…

        • Aidan Bynum

          So UH can’t ever become more? We must remain as we were? So how about we revert back to a jr college or back to an all white school?
          The only thing I am ashamed of is people like you, who accept that not only are they are inferior but also that they can never be equal

          • Yoyo

            UH will stay a last-chance school because we don’t make freshmen live on campus, paying high dorm rates and living in what is virtually a food desert?

            Dream on man, there are many better ways we could improve UH, like improving academics further, paying teachers and assistant professors more instead of channeling it to an athletic program that still gets s**t thrown at it, and not making one professor teach seven different courses in as many years, for instance.

    • RJ

      Yes, it’s your opinion; and, it is my opinion that your opinion is a very bad one.

  • micahtheblade

    I mentioned this in another post, but if you’re looking to weigh in on the situation, don’t just post about it on the Daily Cougar’s website (as cathartic as it may be) – give his office a call:
    The Honorable John Whitmire
    P.O. Box 12068
    Capitol Station
    Austin, Texas 78711
    (512) 463-0115

    Local:
    803 Yale Street
    Houston, Texas 77007
    (713) 864-8701

  • Guest

    hey

    • UH alumni

      Just sent this to Senator Whitmire:
      I just read the Daily Cougar and they write that UH has tabled the mandatory on-campus freshman living requirement based on a conversation with Senator Whitmire. This is fantastic news! I want to thank the Senator for working on behalf of working class students and their parents. My son will be graduating with honors this year and I (a UH alumni)was pushing him towards the UH so that he could stay home and live with us. If the regents would have passed this mandate he would be going to another state school of his choice. I scraped by to pay for college with student loans, part time to full time work and credit cards. I wanted to at least pay for the first two years of my son’s tuition. If this holds, both of my son’s will be graduating as Cougars. Thank you Senator Whitmire.
      My son doesn’t want to go to TSU or a community college, He is already going to Lone Star for dual credit classes. Why should he be forced to go to a community college because we can’t afford room and board? I know HCC is cheaper but he has earned the right to go to a university. He wants an education a UH not unnecessary debt of living on campus. Go Cougars!

      • Aidan Bynum

        So in other words he didn’t want to go to UH? Hurray for keeping us as a fallback school

  • Dexter Fishbourne

    Did you read the texts on Chron? Where does this two bit career politician get off telling the University of Houston what to do and where to do it? I have never seen him on campus for any of the events, games, etc… so why do any of his thoughts or comments matter?

  • Rich

    As a student who lived both on campus and commuted 20 years ago and also commutes today as a part time post bach student I am somewhat envious and at the same time proud where UH is today. When I attended as an undergrad student the only students who lived on campus were foreign students, honor students, and athletes. Today there is a more vibrant and diverse campus life as well as higher academic standards.

    “I am alarmed” that a state senator who attended 40 years ago wields this much influence over a campus which would be better equipped to make decisions such as these with more proximity and feel for campus needs. The UH of 2014 is not the UH of 1975. Who wants to be UT or ATM? We want to be UH!! We have an innovative campus in one of the most dynamic urban environments in the country.
    UH has come so far in just a short time and it is very ignorant to use a student’s choices from the 1970’s as what is best for UH today. in 2014, Senator W. could easily attend UHD, UHCL, UHNW, or even community college and transfer if he had the same decision to make today.

    My only criticism of the campus growth is there needs to be more security and lighting in the evening hours.

    That being said, I hope Senator W. does not think he will be receiving a warm welcome at any future UH alumni event.

  • Enrique Martinez

    As a second year resident of Moody Towers I can most definitely testify in favor or the data that supports living on campus. As a commuter it was impossible to make the worth while connections that propelled my current success. I joined the AFROTC, SGA, and formed a council for my respective college as a senator with my colleagues. Yes it cost more, but the benefits severely out way the cost. UH is a destination school in the making, it saddens me that a prominent alumni would want to hold back progress for our great campus. I can only hope that he Senator Whitmire will see our earnest intentions at the first senate meeting and come to the table for discussions.

  • Grad79

    I am a student of the late 70’s and commuted. I graduated high school with a 4.0 and suffered horribly academically my freshman year. I only worked part time as my parents footed my schooling. I moved out my sophomore year much closer to campus and my grades improved, while I even joined a fraternity.

    Everyone has differing opinions and stances, but this week’s appalling treatment of our University by this senator was uncalled for. He’s a politician and should know better. The campus and school today is not the same as when I attended. His arguments for his stance make absolutely no sense.

    It’s for ONE year, an important one. There are numerous other options in the metro area for commuters who can transfer their second year (if they qualify for UH standards). There are waiver requests that would be entertained and likely granted.

    BUT, there is absolutely no justification to tell the University of Houston to know its place in status. What an incredible insult from a self claiming supportive alumnus. And, there needs to be an apology made by him to Dr. Khator.

    As someone who actually voted for him and as a very proud UH alum, I wrote to him of my disgust and displeasure of his actions and stance in addition to leaving a message in his Houston office.

    It would be very productive, I feel, if the student body bombarded him with feedback from actual current students.

  • Jessica

    Great article, Glisette. It was very thorough with plenty of sources and opinions. Good job Daily Coog.

  • chaiparty

    Why did UH and Dr. Khator have to agree with him?

  • MBGuy

    I lived on and around this campus back in the 70’s when it was mostly a commuter campus. Nevertheless we had a vigorous small group of around 4000 to 5000 students who chose to live either in the dorms or the apartments on both the north and south (remember the old Cougar Apartments?) ends of the campus. In fact, I moved into the Towers the first semester they were open. Those were the good ol’ days when we could go up on the roof and part, and did we ever. Until the son of one of our deans decided to jump from the Towers in one of the darkest moments of UH history.

    I can tell you our experience of living on campus was qualitatively superior to that of the commuters. Many of the commuters would just as soon be at the University of Phoenix. To them UH was just Greenway Plaza: they dropped in, took a couple of classes and got the hell out of town as fast as they could. And, many of these students were drop outs and transfers from other campuses. In fact UT was the largest feeder school into UH. When junior drank himself out of UT daddy made a couple of phone calls and junior was suddenly a Cougar. And he hated every minute of it. I remember on jerk I had to sit next to in an English class. He spent the whole semester ragging on UH and extolling the glories of UT. He flunked that class to, much to my delight. Sorry to be so petty, but that was how I felt. The most common term used to describe the campus atmosphere was apathetic. That is a far cry from what even a casual visitor would experience today.

    We need to be very careful in our response to Senator Whitmire. I’m just as P.O’d as the next guy, but UH needs all the support it can get in the legislature. I agree with 90% of what has been posted here. It’s the same on Scout/CoogFans.com. The senator probably had no idea of the push back he was going to get. In fact had a legislator made such a comment back when he was enrolled there probably would have been near silence. Put another way an apathetic student body would have let out a collective yawn if they said anything at all.

    I’m guessing he is befuddled and confused over this uproar. And that is a good thing. While he has been going about doing the business of the University it is clear he has TOTALLY lost touch with what this school is becoming. For one thin, as has been noted by ohters, were he to enroll today at UH under similar circumstances he would face a truck load of options that did not exist back in the 70’s.

    *He could attend on of the MANY find junior/community colleges in the Greater Houston area.

    *He would be able to attend one of the several (and growing) “system” schools that are more conveniently located for students who only want to communte and not drive 75 miles across town to the Central Campus.

    *He could investigate one of the countless “schools” now offering online programs to suit the needs of working adults. And so on and so forth.

    *UH is no longer the only option for the working students

    It is our job to shed some light on this matter, and my guess is about now he is trying to figure out how to do damage control. Or, he should be. Some of these guys get so insulated nothing gets past their staff except positive feedback. Try driving a car with positive feedback.

    As for Dr. Khator she did the prudent thing. She publicly too a step back, but don’t count her out. This is a woman with vision. She’s the major reason the school is enjoying its own Renaissance. She knows not to take on the Senator in a public debate. That’s our job. Meanwhile I have no doubt she is quietly laying more groundwork for the kind of future success we have seen in the past few years. Hang in there, Dr. Khator. You have a strong base of support for continuing on the path you have taken UH on over the past few years. You are definitely not alone in standing up for the future of UH.

  • Eagl3

    THis man has the right idea. I support his decision. There’s no need to force these students to pay this redicolous amount of money to live on campus just to get their education. Time and previous experience from prior students has plainly shown that getting your degree does not require you to stay on campus. Good job Mr. Whitmire.

    • Aidan Bynum

      No but the studies show that it will help you get it soon with better grades. 4 instead of 6, 6 instead of 8, 8 instead of never
      So in the long run you actually save money

  • Guest123

    http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2014/08/whitmire_khator_texts.php

    I can’t say I agree with the WAY Sen. Whitmire addressed Dr. Kator, it was very rude and pompous….However I believe he is right. UH is not A&M and it is not UT, so why are we trying to be like them? UH is not a destination school, it is a commuter school. We should embrace that.

    Tyrion Lannister, “Let me give you some advice…Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”

    Why should we be ashamed of being a commuter school? That’s not a negative thing. I lived at home, worked part time, and commuted from Katy every year that I was at UH. I was proud to have a more responsible and mature mentality and mindset, and found that most of my peers didn’t crave the “american college experience” that students from UT and A&M do.

    If I understand correctly, then you could give almost any reason to not live on campus, and you wouldn’t have to. Well in that case what is the point of even introducing this…just extra paperwork and administration for students. And while I’m a proud Cougar, we don’t exactly have the best administrative staff in the world. I think this would be stupid and unnecessary headache for most Freshman.

    The students of UH are fundamentally not on campus students, even today 85% of the students are commuters. I would say change things like the community around UH (i.e. 3rd ward) to make it safer for students, so that they want to stay on campus and hang out. Have restaurants that are open past 5pm or on weekends. There are better ways to increase school spirit, improve retention, increase GPAs, and all that other stuff without spurning the demographic that made UH what it is today: The working class commuter student.

    • Aidan Bynum

      Thats right, know your role. Accept your place in the social order, don’t you dare think about improving your self.

      • Tammy

        Do you even have a point…your comment makes no sense.

  • Sonya H.

    I graduated in 2008 and lived off-campus, in Cougar Place, and in the Towers. Tuition and living on campus were much cheaper then. I wholeheartedly agree with Senator Whitmire. We are not A&M, UT, Rice, or UNT – UH serves a purpose in our community. If we run from those roots, where will students that live with their parents go – UHD or UHCL? Those schools don’t offer the same degrees and programs that UH has by design.

    Senator Whitmire did the right thing. Forcing students to live on campus is a stupid idea for a school known for its crime and its commuter school status. It should be an option, however, for students that wish to do that. I did both because that was what was right for me. Coogs should pick what’s right for them, not whatever Khator and a few SGA kids think. Khator and SGA don’t know what’s best for all students. That was painfully obvious during my time at UH and is apparently still an issue.

    • Guest123

      Perfectly said. We should stick to our roots. Why try to be something we’re not. SGA needs their ego checked.

  • Tristan

    If all it takes is one state senator to wreck a policy, then it probably wasn’t one that people were willing to fight for. all the reporting that surrounds this indicates that this was a “good idea” that spun quickly out of control before anyone could accurately assess its impacts.

    it’s probably better that living on campus is recommended, but not mandatory. i know plenty of students who commuted and got heavily involved in the campus (counting myself – i have two degrees from UH). if you feel that living on campus is critical to getting better grades and getting the full college experience, feel free to do so. if you don’t, then no biggie.

  • http://www.gristleandgossip.com GristleNGossip

    The way this was handled makes UH look weak and ineffective.

  • Joe

    This shows how ineffective and self-centered President Khator is. If she really believed in the idea, she should have found a way to make it work rather than immediately caving in.
    She kills the proposal right away, asks forgiveness from the Senator, both implying that she admits this was a bad idea. In reality, she is trying to protect herself while throwing her staff and UH under the bus. It is true that the Senator was rude, however, the way Dr. Khator behaved is no better; she had no principles and threw everybody under the bus to protect herself. This was a major embarrassment for UH.

  • Sarah

    Perhaps the most productive label for UH would be a “Commuter Friendly” school. We have a large and significant residential population, but because of our roots and our student population much of what we do is designed with commuters in mind.

    I believe the new housing policy would have been completely in line with this understanding of the University of Houston. It promotes student academic achievement and encourages students to spend their first year (when academic adjustment is most difficult) living on campus where they can get extra support, then gives students freedom to commute as an upperclassman. Yet, knowing our student body and their diverse needs, the proposal does not force students, who have understandable reasons to commute, to live on campus. I would hope the policy might also come with increased financial aid to freshmen who need it for housing and also new dorm construction that provides low cost options (maybe reinstate the community bathrooms and smaller rooms).

    As a current student, I strongly support Dr. Khator’s proposal and her vision for the University of Houston. Bringing this to the students and the board for discussion was exactly the right move for this issue, and I hope the dialogue that emerges refines the policy for the best.

  • Sarah

    To contact Senator Whitmire via email use this form: http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/members/dist15/dist15.htm#form

    To contact Dr. Khator via email use this form: http://www.uh.edu/president/about/contact/

    As cougars who respect other’s opinions, let’s try to maintain the level of thoughtfulness, logic, and grammatical correctness established in this article as we express our respective thoughts on the policy to these two leaders!

  • brian

    “The presentation also states that GPAs in students who lived on campus
    were on average higher than their commuting peers, somewhere between .01
    and .11 percent, with more significant increases in students of
    Hispanic and African American ethnicity, whose GPAs were .16 and .23
    percent higher. -.01 percent higher.”
    wow…so, basically with any kind of margin of error – the data is neutral/bad. interesting.

    and if its not really mandatory, why is no one pointing out that they are again manipulating/lying to students? ‘oh we’re just calling it mandatory because we know some people will just shrug and accept it and that’s more money for us.’

    ‘It’s actually more affordable for a student to live on campus and attend
    classes here than it is for them to have an apartment off campus.’ – bullcrap. i lived in my own apartment less than a mile away for $400 a month – how much do UH dorms cost? and that’s not even taking into account that students can get a house near the university and split the costs and go even cheaper than $400 a month. so really they are competing for rich students ( if those even really exist anymore) who don’t want to live in a minority/working class neighborhood.

  • Sappho802911

    I’m a little appalled by the behavior of the State Senator and I think it is idiotic to think that it was killed by him single handedly; rather, a live-on requirement has been kicked around for years by UH. Yet, the idea that having a residential campus will change everything about the university is a misnomer. Students who commute due so because they cannot afford to live on campus, they have family obligations, or they have jobs. In that regard, Whitmire is correct. Yes, graduation rates are higher for student who live on-campus, but factor in all aspects; it means that they aren’t spending time away from their studies taking care of family members and have the financial means to live on-campus.

  • Carolyn Conravey Walsh Levy

    It seems people including the senator seem to miss the point that it is ONLY freshman who don’t meet a list of exemptions would be the ones required to live on campus. There are other institutions that offer freshman level classes if the student chooses to commute rather than live on campus. Once the student is not a freshman and would transfer to UH continuing with upper level course work toward a degree, there is not a compulsory requirement to live on campus–although in my opinion from our family’s personal experience, I would recommend it.

Back to Top ↑