Clarification on UVM Enrollment Data

The thing about data is that you can cherry pick points within a longitudinal view to make just about any argument you want to make. I’ve been keeping track of responses to my proposed legislation (H.311) that would cap UVM enrollment at current levels until the housing crisis in Burlington improves. This legislation would also require UVM to stop absorbing their enrollment increases by simply forcing students, three to a room, into rooms that have historically housed only two students. Some of the more puzzling responses encourage the reader to look at the data between 2009 and 2019. Viewing the data between these oddly suggested parameters might suggest there is no real concern. This is disingenuous at best.

It appears, instead, to be deliberately evasive.

When considering whether or not it would be prudent to allow UVM the necessary zoning exemptions to build more on-campus housing, we cannot simply look at a block of time between 2009 and 2019. The concern, as expressed countless times by the City Council asĀ  well as just about any resident who lives near the university, is that UVM has a clear and documented history of building new housing, increasing enrollment beyond capacity, and then requesting exemptions to build new housing.

When you consider how enrollment has increased within the five years following the two most recently completed on-campus residencies for first and second year students, the pattern is clear. The City of Burlington has asked that UVM come to the table prepared to discuss its enrollment plans and to commit to limiting its growth. Given the clear pattern, this is a very fair request.