Upcoming Housing Plans Determined
With the single-sex housing policy taking effect on sophomore residence halls next year, the administration is currently evaluating ways to both satisfy students and split sophomore housing in a way that adheres to the standards set by the new policy.
Though the administration battled with turning the Millennium buildings into single-gender sophomore housing and transferring juniors into Opus, they understood that this option would not include the kind of amenities that upperclassmen require. Juniors and seniors seem to require kitchen facilities, living rooms, and private bathrooms, options which are available in Millennium North, Millennium South, and Curley Court, but not in Opus.
“As a freshman, the housing is not bad. As a sophomore, you get a little more options and as a junior and senior, we want to give you the most options,” said Tim Carney, Associate Vice President of Campus Services. “I refer to it as a graduated housing system. The juniors and seniors get the amenities, so they get the housing that is most desirable.”
Once it was established that Opus and Gibbons Halls would continue to house sophomores, the administration needed to find a way to make the buildings single-gender. Opus is to be split into 200 male residences and 202 female residences, while Gibbons will become an all-male dorm.
“We have an Opus North and an Opus South and, in a sense, we are going to treat them like two different residence halls, which we think will work for the interim,” said Susan Pervi, Vice President for Student Life. She is also planning on increasing the number of Resident Assistants in the wings while leaving a space in the building for 24-hour social interaction.
“We’ve looked at other options as well, but there was always an inequity and this was the best option we could find. And we believe this will still meet the spirit of the single-sex and the goal of more community space,” said Carney.
The administration is also looking to increase 24-hour space, not only in the John K. Mullen Library and the Eugene I. Kane Fitness Center, but also in the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center.
“You can go to New York City during the day and have lunch somewhere and at night it is a nightclub, you can’t imagine that you are in the same place. Can the Pryz be transformed in a similar way at night to feel differently than what you experience during the day?” Pervi asked, “That is something we are looking into.”
The administration is also considering what changes would be necessary to make the housing process easier in the future. Though it is important to “use and adapt the space we have,” said Pervi, she also has to consider the changes that could be made to campus to ensure the single-sex housing policy fits in the future.
As Student Life awaits the results of the February 10 deposit and the room selection intent deadline, they realize that many of these housing plans can change depending on the number of students that decide to live on-campus versus those who get an apartment or house nearby. The administration remains optimistic that the plans that have been made for 2012-2013 housing will work out well.
“I want to assure our students that we are making a good faith effort to accommodate undergraduates required to live on campus,” Pervi said, “while responding to upperclassmen who desire to continue to live on campus.”