Senate debates mandatory dorm policy for freshmen

Student Body President Tanner Franklin (left) and Vice President Brett Johnson (right). Photo by Nicholas Nelson/The Dakota Student.

UND Student Senate spent much of its meeting on Nov. 2 debating a resolution that would require first-year students to live on-campus. The resolution is supported by the Association of Residence Halls. It would have exceptions for military members, families, students who live within 35 miles of Grand Forks and students who have medical or financial difficulties.

“I’m doing this on behalf of my constituents at ARH,” author and Sen. Chase Johnson said. “It’s advantageous for students to live on campus, which is the reason why my constituents wanted to see this brought forward.”

Currently, about 80 percent of first-year students live on campus. Of the other 20 percent, Johnson thought only about 5 to 100 percent of them would be impacted.

“This is a policy the residence halls would like to pursue,” Johnson said. “We want to look out for their best interests.”

Johnson also said similar policies have been adopted at universities around the country have been received favorably.

Not all senators were in favor of the proposal though, with many expressing concerns over taking away an important decision from students.

“I absolutely detested having to live in the dorms,” Senator Shawn Wagner said. “It’s still nice for everyone to choose where they want to live.”

One of the main sticking points was that the exact wording of the First-Year Live-On Policy wasn’t clear.

“If we don’t have the verbage that this supports, I don’t think we should be passing this,” Governmental Affairs Commissioner Sean McClain said.

The issue was eventually tabled until a later meeting.


A bill also was brought forward to create a voting delegation for the North Dakota Student Association.

“The rationale is to increase attendance at NDSA,” author and Sen. Derek LaBrie said. “It would establish a voting delegation that would solve this. It would stabilize rates of how many people are going.”

Any student would be able to have one of 12 spots on the delegation, with priority going to senate members. UND holds 18 voting spots at each NDSA meeting, but 30 students can go to each meeting. The bill was passed unanimously by senate.

Megan Hoffman is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].