Changes to housing check-out policy could make things easier

Exam week can be one of the most stressful times of the year for college students.

During that week, students are pressured to complete papers and presentations and study for final exams. For many students, the pressure to do well in their classes at the end of the semester is enough to fully occupy their time and energy.

In addition to these academic demands, though, students who live on campus are also required to vacate their campus housing units within 24 hours after their last final exam. As most students are aware, this means packing up all of their belongings and cleaning their rooms in order to prepare for check-outs.

An entire day following the last exam seems like a reasonable amount of time to move out; however, many students may require more time than this to coordinate their move. Packing and cleaning earlier in the week to prepare to move out quickly can take critical time away from students who need to study and complete work.

Further disruption can also occur if students’ vehicles are not big enough to move all of their belongings in one trip. In these cases, multiple trips may need to be made during finals week, which can seriously distract students from their classes during the most critical point in the semester.

In addition, the actual process of packing and cleaning done by students checking out in the middle of the week may distract other roommates who have not completed their classes yet.

A less common – but still significant – problem with the current policy plagues students who do have cars on campus. Checking out in the middle of the week may require their parents to take time off work to meet the deadline for vacating.

In fairness, there are a number of legitimate reasons why the university requires students to move out within 24 hours after their last final exam. First of all, it would be quite chaotic on campus if everyone was to move out at the end of the week.

Another benefit of the current policy is that it allows the resident assistants to check out their residents more efficiently without becoming overwhelmed. By mandating students move out 24 hours after their last final exam, resident assistants can check residents out throughout the week and not have to do the majority of check outs at the end of the week.

Yet another valid reason for the 24 hour move out deadline is many students who complete their classes earlier in the week, but are still on campus, may disrupt the quiet hours that many other students need during finals week.

In spite of these clear reasons for the current policy, the university should at least consider altering its policy because of the potential benefits. Students should be given the option to move out the weekend following the last week of the winter semester. Other universities allow students this option.

With such a policy, students will have one less thing to worry about, knowing they can complete their work before having to fully plan and execute their move.

That being said, good luck to all students on their finals.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 27th, 2015 and is filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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