Should Princeton University undergraduates have an off-campus housing experience? That question is raised in a great piece by Steve Swanson in ‘The Daily Princetonian’ (‘Temporary Utopia’, read the full article here). Potentially, living in non-college housing would offer students a chance to gain valuable independence.
For many students in ‘The Orange Bubble‘, guaranteed access to college housing is a great perk which also ensures a strong community. But the potential coddling that comes from not having to deal with real-life concerns risks insulating students from the experiences that shape ‘regular people’. As Swanson puts it:
“it is now possible for students to graduate without ever going through the hassle of signing a lease, buying or making their own food, interacting with non-college educated people, dealing with the dangers of crime, using a physical key or any number of other skills made redundant by the University’s services”
Finding private accommodation in Princeton would certainly be a learning experience for many students. Complaints about ‘the long trek from Forbes’ would be put into perspective by a daily commute from Plainsboro or a West Windsor apartment community. It’s not even clear that enough rental accomodation exists in the town to provide housing for a significant number of undergraduates. As things stand, graduate students, who are only not always guaranteed housing by the University, regularly complain about the difficulty of finding somewhere to live.
What do you think? Should finding their own place to live be part of the curriculum for Princeton U. students? have your say in the comments section below, or click through to leave a comment at the original piece.