U must look to private housing

by Daily Editorial Board

As the number of students living on or near campus swells, administrators at the University of Minnesota are scrambling to develop a plan to stem the overflow of applications for University housing. 
This February, administrators proposed demolishing Centennial Hall and Territorial Hall and replacing them with new dorms over the next 30 years. Another idea, which calls for the University to remodel Pioneer Hall and Frontier Hall, would cost about $170 million. 
According to Regent Thomas Devine, the University would need to build a new dorm every three years in order to meet student demand.
Devine has hailed Ohio State University as a model for development. OSU is spending $370 million to add 3,200 beds. Starting this fall, it will also require sophomores to live on campus and enroll in a mandatory second-year experience course. 
The University shouldn’t follow that path. Requiring sophomores to live on campus would make no sense when the school already struggles to house its incoming freshmen. 
As for adding a second-year experience course, University students have long attacked the College of Liberal Arts’ mandatory first-year experience course, which critics say consists of one-dimensional busywork. 
The University ought to focus on developing partnerships with private housing companies near campus and discussing ways to keep rent low for students who live in partnered housing. The school can’t build a new dorm every three years — unless it wants to recruit fewer students, it will need to look off-campus for housing solutions.