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Quantity Isn’t Always Quality - Belmont Evictions

Updated: Mar 1

A coalition of Belmont students has begun calling for reform against the new housing lottery for rising seniors. 


Belmont Evicted is a movement of Belmont students who are against the new housing lottery. 


They are attempting to make their voices heard through emails and information spreading. 


Belmont announced a recent change to their housing policy that made it so that rising seniors would have to enter a lottery to obtain housing.  


ResLife sent out the link to all rising seniors on Feb. 16 to enter into the new lottery.  


The movement has two primary alternative solutions. 


“One of the solutions that is proposed in that template is for Belmont to do what they did last semester and find the off-campus housing themselves, subsidize any costs that exceed those expected of on-campus housing, and subsidize transportation,” said junior illustration major Samuel Davenport. “The other goal mentioned there is to reduce the number of freshmen admitted and to decline admitted freshmen if necessary.”  


The movement isn’t backed by any specific student organizations but has a range of students in support, as well as around 50 followers on Instagram. Some of the supporters of the movement are frustrated with how communication of this change was made and are attempting to have their voices heard. 


“This was executed and communicated very poorly,” said junior faith and social justice major Jules Webb. “And I can only imagine that there were some students out there who did not look at their email and their parents didn't find out either. So this might be the first time they were finding out.” 


The movement is in an “effort to change the new housing policy of Belmont University,” according to the statement on its website.  


This includes sending emails to the Reslife office, the president's office as well as other offices and attempting to inform others about the potential impact this change could have going forward. 


“Is this a temporary measure? Or is it going to continue to be the case that upperclassmen just do not have guaranteed housing? And of course, we know, from the beginning there was no guaranteed housing on paper, but the number of freshmen that were admitted was not this high in the past,” said Webb. 


Since 2021 Belmont has enrolled about 5400 students full-time - an average of about 1800 a year and the most over a three year span in the last decade. 


Some of the students see this decision as a symptom of Belmont putting its growth before its students. 

“If you’re angry there’s a lot of power in directing that anger towards the decision being conducted,” said junior social work major Taylor Sanderson.


Supporters haven’t received responses from any offices they have reached out to so far with the exception of the Reslife office. 


“We love it here. We don't want to complain ultimately about things that cannot be changed, but we do believe this can be changed,” Webb said. 


The students are attempting to coordinate against what they see as an “expansion at any cost” mindset surrounding exponential growth and gentrification that they say is “spreading among universities” and causing “burnout and stress” among students, according to their website. 


“This is very bad for Belmont in the long run, because if students have to drop out because they are forced off of campus and cannot stay in school this is going to drive graduation rates down its going to drive retention rates down because they're prioritizing freshmen who don't necessarily complete their time at Belmont,” said Davenport. “It's not going to benefit them ultimately.”  


Under the Belmont Evicted Instagram there is a list of resources including an email template, housing assistance resources and printable materials and stickers for any students that want to join and get involved in the movement. 


“We can make a change together, you have the power to influence,” said Sanderson. “Even in something as simple as sending an email that makes an impact.” 


This article was written by Braden Simmons 

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