Residential Housing Office records

Residential Housing Office records

Dates: 1956-1983

The collection includes the correspondence of the Residential Housing Office Coordinators and managers, including both incoming and outgoing mail. The letters cover a wide range of topics, from answering requests for housing to negotiating with landlords. There are also many letters that include reports of student misbehavior which the office relayed to the University Standards Office for action. It also includes numerous reports and publications produced by the office. These include monthly and annual reports, financial impact surveys, and landlord workshop materials. There is significant material on the University's segregation policy and challenges faced by the University following the passage of the Federal Fair Housing Act. The bulk of the material dates to the reorganization of the BYU housing office in the mid-1960s, though there are some reports that include 1950s data.

  • Extent: 5 cartons (2.5 linear ft.). -- 10 boxes (5 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Brigham Young University. Student Housing
  • Call Number: UA 1116
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; University Archives; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84602;
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
The collection is divided into seven series. The first three series have been placed in chronological order, with undated folders placed at the back. The other four series have been left in the original order. I. Residential Housing Office correspondence, 1962-1981. II. Residential Housing Office administrative policies and reports, 1956-1983. III. Residential Housing Office publications and training materials, 1960-1980. IV. Residential Housing Office summer conference, 1972-1979. V. Residential Housing Office housing department records, 1956-1979. VI. Residential Housing Office university reports, 1976-1981. VII. Residential Housing Office Head of Resident Housing records, 1976-1981.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Residential Housing Office records must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: UA 1116; Residential Housing Office records; University Archives; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: UA 1116, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Transferred from Records Management in June 2004. Found in the Stacks in August 2008.
Acquisition Information
Transferred; Records Management; June 2004. Found; Stacks; August 2008.
Other Finding Aids
File-level inventory available online.
Related Material
Brigham Young University Housing Office (UA 471).
Subject Terms
Barton, Delyle; Craven, Rulon G., 1924-; Lewis, Ben E. (Ben Elden), 1913-2005; Oviatt, Lamon; Pace, H. John; Redd, Harold J.; Rockwood, C. Lavar, 1928-; Schwendiman, Fred A. (Fred Austin), 1919-2004; Short, Max; Wynder, F. Curtis; Colleges and Universities; Discrimination in housing; Education; Student housing
Genre / Form
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.); Corporate minutes; Letters; Photographs; Reports
Processing Information
Processed; Cory Nimer; June 2004. Processed; Matthew Leavitt; January 2009.
Appraisal Information
Office files (University Archives collecting policy, July 2003).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Residential Housing Office records
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Matthew Leavitt
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-11-21T13:43-0700
Finding Aid Language
Biographical Info:

Administrative History

The Residential Housing Office is a division of the Brigham Young University Housing Office, created in May 1953. It has been responsible for providing information and services related to off-campus housing for students. It has also certified BYU-approved housing, trained landlords and apartment managers, mediated student-landlord disputes, managed the University Homes, and helped maintain BYU standards.

Since the foundation of Brigham Young University students have sought out off-campus living accommodations. During the Maeser Administration, such arrangements were supervised by the Domestic Department. By the early 1920s, lists of approved off-campus housing had been developed and were available for arriving students. A faculty housing committee was also established to periodically inspect housing facilities.

An important aspect of the approved housing system was the need felt by the University to maintain certain standards. In the 1937 “Standards and Rules Governing Student Conduct at BYU,” it is noted that a Housing Committee was responsible for approving all housing arrangements. It also included provisions requiring landlords “to report violations of these rules or any improper conduct on the part of the students to the chairman of the Attendance and Scholarship Committee.”

At the time of the 1937 rules of conduct, nearly eighty percent of students lived in either apartments or private homes. This led succeeding University administrations to support the construction of on-campus housing projects, though the majority of the student population continued to live off-campus. By the fall of 1955 over sixty percent of students lived off-campus accommodations.

Then in May 1953, responsibility for both on-campus and off-campus housing was transferred from the Dean of Students to the newly created Housing Office, established as part of Auxiliary Services. Fred A. Schwendiman was appointed as the first housing director, with Rulon Craven as his assistant. Shortly after its creation, a student assistant named Clarence Fields was charged with the development of a listing service for off-campus housing.

In 1954, Rulon Craven was selected to be Coordinator of Residential Housing. He was replaced in September 1962 by Delyle Barton. During his term off-campus housing more than doubled and various programs were developed, including off-campus housing status, landlord rental contracts, student rental contracts, living standards, minimum apartment requirements, and student/landlord arbitration. Following Barton’s promotion to Housing Director in 1970, the renamed position of Manager of Residential Housing was filled by Harold Redd (1970-1974), Lamon Oviatt (1974-1979), Curtis Wynder (1979-1981), and John Pace (1981-).

Published works with information about the Residential Housing Office include: Wilkinson, Ernest, ed. Brigham Young University: the first one hundred years. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1975. Barrett, Bruce A. and Ginger S. Woodruff. Brigham Young University Housing through the Years. Orem, UT: BAB Publishing, 1994.

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Series I in UA 1116

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Cory Nimer
University Archivist - University Archives