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Intellect

BYU takes steps to more effectively manage off-campus housing

Following Brigham Young University's decision that it would no longer approve student housing outside of Provo, the BYU Off-Campus Housing Office conducted a comprehensive review of its program and has determined new boundaries for all approved properties.

Properties located outside of the boundaries may continue to be approved for single students until April 30, 2007.

The new boundaries circle the university extending from 500 West in Provo to 1450 East and its aligned streets. The north boundary extends approximately along 2200/2230 North from Carterville Road to North Temple Drive, with the south boundary being Provo Center Street from Seven Peaks Boulevard to 500 West. In all cases, the boundaries include both sides of the street.

These boundaries encompass more than 90 percent of all current approved housing spaces.

As the number of students choosing to live in Utah Valley has grown considerably in recent years the university has had to determine how it can best use its resources to meet the needs of its students and contracted landlords.

Important to BYU is the moral and spiritual living environment of its students. "As always, our goal is to continue to provide this environment for our students, as well as to provide students and landlords with the level of service necessary. Hence, BYU's Off-Campus Housing Office needs to adjust the territory it manages," said Julie Franklin, director of Residence Life at BYU. "As the ever-increasing number of approved housing spaces continues to exceed the demand of BYU students, it makes sense to adjust the BYU-approved housing area."

The number of rental spaces approved by the Off-Campus Housing Office has risen steadily over the past five years to more than 23,000 in 2003.

Only 14,738 of those spaces were occupied by BYU students this past winter semester, Franklin said. The rest were occupied by students at other institutions in Utah County.

In issuing this advanced notice, BYU intends to give previously approved property owners ample time to make students aware of their status.

"There will still be plenty of housing choices for BYU students,"

Franklin said. "We expect this move will allow us to have greater impact on the remaining approved properties."

Franklin said the university also recognizes that a student's living situation is a major part of his or her college life. National studies, she said, show that living on or near campus helps students better integrate into a campus's social network of peers, faculty and extracurricular activities. "This facilitation then leads to better retention and graduation rates."

Single students who live with their parents will continue to qualify for exceptions to the policy. Married students are not required to live in BYU-approved housing.

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