At a tense meeting of the RHA leadership Tuesday, members discussed the possible policy change, even questioning whether or not it was true.
The University’s announcement of the policy change has been removed from the housing website. The RHA will take a stance when the proposal is confirmed, members said.
Edgar Lopez, governor of Manning West, said even if the proposal does create more space for upperclassmen on North Campus, these students will already have made their living arrangements for next year.
RHA President Hans Peng said he fears the implications of separating students based on their class.
“Although this policy doesn’t explicitly prohibit (freshmen) from living on North Campus, it will definitely make it harder for them to do so,” Peng wrote in an email.
“I myself was a North Campus resident my first year at Carolina, and I loved talking to upperclassmen and benefiting from their wisdom,” he said, adding that the change would also stigmatize South Campus and make it a more undesirable living location for upperclassmen.
Pino said she does not want to see the freshman experience limited to one area of campus.
“I appreciate housing, but I also think that housing can do more,” Pino said. “Not everyone is looking for the same experience. Diversity is the most important thing.”
Pino said part of UNC’s appeal is students’ freedom to choose residence halls.
She said residency restrictions could cause a lack of communication regarding opportunities in student government and residence leadership.
Elizabeth Lynch, an admissions ambassador, said she agreed.
Lynch said the policy would be detrimental to freshmen’s awareness of campus events and community activities.
The proposed change comes from an effort to fill 434 empty beds on campus, which cost UNC about $4.3 million in wasted space, said Rick Bradley, assistant director of housing assignments and communication, on Monday.
Student Body Secretary Adam Jutha said student government is aware of the issue and is currently seeking student opinion.
“We are trying to understand the full perspective of the student experience at Carolina,” Jutha said.
Contact the University Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.