Campus reacts to BYU housing policy change

Single, undergraduate students will no longer be required to live in BYU-contracted housing starting Fall 2022. Students, professors and alumni are sharing reactions. (Sydnee Gonzalez)

Students, professors and alumni are reacting to BYU’s announcement today saying students will no longer be required to live in BYU-contracted housing after their first two semesters.

On-campus reactions

Jacob Bellows, a sophomore from Portland, said he likes having more options for future housing. 

“I’m just happy because it will make finding housing a little easier,” Bellows said. “I like to have a bigger kitchen and a lot of the contracted off-campus housing has terrible kitchens, so it will be nice to expand my search and be able to find something that better fits my needs.”

Freshman Connor Biser called the announcement a “positive change.” He said it will help him find better housing when he gets back from serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“I think it was imminent,” Biser said. “It will be one less thing for students to worry about and prices will hopefully be lower as a result.”

Sisters Morgan and Heidi Dexter from Lindon said they also think the announcement is a positive change for BYU.

“There hasn’t been enough good housing for students for a while,” Heidi Dexter said. “People haven’t been able to find good deals close to campus, so I think this is a lot less restricting.”

Morgan Dexter said she is looking forward to not having to fill out waivers for non-contracted housing anymore. “I had to fill out waivers to live at home this year, which has been a hassle.”

Carter Middleton, from Provo, said the change was much-needed. “It’s been tough because there are only so many places to live and rent is high,” Middleton said. “Hopefully it will help with the housing bubble and make it a lot easier to find housing as a student.”

Twitter reactions

Twitter has also exploded with reactions to the housing policy.

“I did not see that change to BYU’s housing policy coming,” political science professor Adam Brown said Thursday. “BYU’s decision means a significant reduction in its monitoring of off-campus behavior.”

Brown also raised questions about how the Honor Code will be enforced, how the “already messy” campus parking situation will change and what the housing market will look like. 

Twitter user Sean Miller said the announcement bodes well for students burned by “a monopoly ran by the predatory off-campus housing businesses.”

User @EntropyValley is curious how the policy will change interactions between UVU and BYU students.

“So if BYU is no longer allowing UVU students to live in BYU contracted housing and allowing non-freshmen to live anywhere, are they going to reduce the number of officially contracted complexes?” @EntropyValley tweeted. “It’s a shame that it’s going to be less likely for cross-school rooming.”

University alumni said they wished the change had happened sooner.

“I was a student when they implemented this requirement and I was not happy about it,” BYU alumnus and Twitter user @natedub9 said. “Glad it’s finally gone.”

Alumnus Sam Brunson said the best housing situation he had while attending BYU more than 20 years ago wasn’t university-approved and required him to submit a special waiver.

“This strikes me as a good move,” Brunson tweeted about the policy. “This should drive rents down, at least marginally, for contracted housing.”

BYU physics professor Ben Frandsen said on Twitter this was an “eminently practical” change.

“BYU undergraduates have been trapped in a near housing monopoly for a long time now, and this will give them much more freedom to find a housing situation that is a blessing to them, not a burden,” Frandsen said. 

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