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We figured the bars surrounding the Tempe campus were the byproducts of an oversized college crowd with an overzealous appetite for booze. After all, these establishments have, for years, served as a beacon of freedom for co-eds living life away from the rigid structure of their homes.

And all was fine and groovy with that.

But it turns out, we might have been wrong. Those bars dotting the campus perimeter and enclose the grounds of campus to a confined space — well, they just became a lot more ominous and ironic: Our University is turning into a prison.

While it has been no secret ASU has been breathing down the neck of freshmen, trying endlessly to twist their arms into living on campus, they are now planning to force the issue with next fall’s implementation of required on-campus living for all freshman students.

With thousands of students bound to the campus, the prison parallels are simple. Just to name a few: Heavy overcrowding, lines waiting in the cafeteria for slop (Aramark food), scattered educational programs. We can even see Hayden Lawn as a prison yard, serving as a nice place to pump iron.

In all honesty, we don’t see this going well. We feel like this is one big fundraiser for the University (housing plus meal plan equals big payday) and we’re not the biggest fans of our school telling its students where they can and can’t live.

Yes, we appreciate their good intentions — they cite studies that show students who live on campus yield higher retention rates and better academic success as the reason for this policy — but dictating a rigid policy like this on a (literally) captive audience is not going to make everyone happy.

There are reasons why people don’t choose to live on campus in the first place, be it anything from independence from ResLife’s resident policies and maintenance failures, to the conveniences and comforts of their parents’ homes. While the new system will allow for a limited amount of exemptions, it shouldn’t take a long bureaucratic process to gain freedom of residency for students choosing to live elsewhere. The current system respects this, and it should stay that way.

College is not a collective process; it is about individuals all splitting from the public K-12 world and going their own ways. As it gets bigger, ASU seems to be forgetting this and, as evidenced by ASU 101, wants to baby the freshman class as a whole.

This is a slap in the face (or would it be a shiv to the side?) to these students.

But, all shanking references aside, there will be issues with this policy beyond disgruntled students forced to live on campus and pay through the nose.

With a string of armed robberies already having hit the Tempe campus this semester, security will be a concern.

Furthermore, while new dorms are slowing popping up, the old dorms still must carry their own weight, and that’s something we’re concerned about. Just look at dorms like Best C — Cell Block C, if you will — that are deteriorating before our eyes.

As much as we don’t like it, we must be realistic: The freshmen are coming. And if the past few freshman classes are any indication, they’ll be coming in droves. We fear that beyond the issue of outraged, inconvenienced and overcharged incoming freshmen wishing to live off-campus, the infrastructure of ASU will not be ready.

Before the masses start residing next door to their classes, it is imperative ASU reviews its most basic factors of student quality of life — security and inhabitable dwellings — and begins the process of cleaning up the campus.

We just hope they don’t drop the soap.

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