Written by Amber Wibbenmeyer. Media by Kelsey Middleton.
Housing: a roof over your head. It is one of the fundamental necessities of life. Without it, there would be some very basic human needs not being met. This very simple need, however, is one of the most expensive needs a person must meet. At Greenville University, there are many housing options, less so for the girls than the boys, but options nonetheless. There are even fewer options still for married students.
There are many married couples at Greenville University, but there are no living arrangements offered to them, and very little help is given from the campus to help them find a place to live. Though this is true now, it has not always been this way.
GU used to have housing available for married people, and this used to be Tenney and Kinney. However, in the ’80s, these accommodations were repurposed to be used as additional male and female housing options due to the lack of married students at the time. This effectively removed the only available housing option for students who want to start their married life immediately rather than wait until they have finished their undergraduate schooling.
There are many different aspects of this issue that raise some serious concerns. If married students cannot live on campus, the university loses money areas such as housing and meal plans. Additionally, students who live off campus have to work more frequently during the week, leaving less time for their school work, which could cause them to fall behind in classes. Students who are married are often forced to limit their extracurricular activities in lieu of going to work or doing required school work. This is not only saddening for the students, but can also have a large impact on who decides to attend GU.
Students who are engaged, married, or in a serious relationship and be considering marriage, may prefer to attend a school other than Greenville if the other school offers more options for married housing. This may not seem like a pressing issue, but, I assure you, it can be.
As Greenville University transitions from a college into a university, it is important to expand more than just our academic programs. We must also change our living arrangements and the way offices on campus are able to help students who want to begin their lives as a married couple.
It may not be completely practical to have entire buildings set aside for students who are married, but there has to be some way that students can find the assistance they need to enjoy their time in college while also being married. This can be done by working out a financial aid that helps to pay rent, or even assisting students in talking to landlords around the area.
Many students, current and potential, could benefit from a program set aside to help students who are married or engaged find affordable living. Greenville University prides itself on creating a community, but currently, when you are married while attending GU, you don’t often feel like an active member of the community because of the unfortunate housing situation.