This semester, the Division of Student and Campus Life will join real-estate and economic development consulting group U3 Advisors in drawing up a “master plan” to reassess on-campus housing for the next decade.
“Our goal is to get an objective assessment of our current housing situation and develop a roadmap to help us plan for the next ten years, a roadmap that is consistent with the University’s campus master plan,” said Marty Rauker, senior director of strategic initiatives for student and campus life.
Student-elected trustee Yamini Bhandari ’17 said that this housing evaluation is necessary because Cornell housing is “disorganized in its current state.”
“Between the shortage of on-campus housing, the increasingly high costs of apartments in Collegetown and the unstructured nature of finding off campus housing, there are a number of pressing concerns,” Bhandari said. “There are also concerns around the housing system creating social stratification amongst students.”
The entire process is expected to last nine months, according to the University. During this time, U3 will hold focus groups and conduct surveys to better understand the housing needs of the Cornell community.
“U3 advisors will guide us through the process, help us to be objective in our assessments, and help us conduct our research intentionally,” Rauker said. “They will also perform benchmarking with other schools, and help us think creatively about financial planning to make the housing master plan a reality.”
Bhandari cited the lack of change in campus housing as a reason for housing issues.
“I also think there are issues within the campus housing because some of the original plans for housing like West Campus have not been re-evaluated since their creation,” said Bhandari. “The changing social dynamic of Cornell is an important consideration for our campus.”