UO to require freshman to live on campus starting this fall

EUGENE, Ore. - Construction crews are busy building a new residence hall on the University of Oregon that so far has no name.

The building will have room for 531 students. The hall is designed to host gatherings called Academic Residential Communities.

"Those are a great way where students connect with faculty members outside of the classrooms," said Leah Andrews, marketing director for University of Oregon Housing. "The top floors are going to be residence hall rooms, so those will be student rooms."

When the hall opens in the fall of 2017, a new requirement takes effect for Oregon students.

With few exceptions, all freshman students will have to live on campus.

Andrews said academics drives the policy, with studies showing students who live on campus earn better grades.

"Not just that first year but for the next 4 years, they tend to be more likely to graduate and they tend to be more likely to graduate faster, which means saving money," Andrews said.

Right now, about 81 percent of first year students live here on the UO campus.

Andrews said that with the policy change this coming fall, she thinks that ratio should rise up to about 90 percent.

The other 10 percent will be the exceptions: students from within a 30 mile radius of campus who want to stay home with family, or older non-traditional students.

Andrews said jumping from high school to college is a monumental event.

The University wants freshmen to get off to a solid start.

"So having that connection to all of these different people within the same area that care about them and want them to succeed," she said, "it just makes a huge difference."

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