Residence services sees changes ahead

Brittany Moseley

Students who want Fall 2008 on-campus housing must pay a $200 prepayment before they can reserve a room.

In the past, the payment was due in June, after rooms were already reserved.

Contract renewal for freshmen starts today, and open sign-up for returning students starts Feb. 3 and ends May 9.

T.J. Logan, senior assistant director for residence services, said by requiring a payment up front, residence services is able to get a commitment from students.

“It just lets us know that the students that are renewing are the ones who are going to be here,” Logan said.

Eastway isn’t the only place undergoing changes. Stopher Hall, which is currently a freshmen-only residence hall, will house honor students, and Prentice Hall will become co-ed. McDowell Hall and Centennial Court D will be available to sophomores.

Some of the learning communities are also changing residence halls. The Science Learning Community will move to Eastway, and the Leadership Academy will move to Lake Hall. Both the Education Learning Community and Physical Learning Community are moving to Centennial Court B and the Global Passport Community will move to Beall Hall.

Another reason for the change is Small Group, the eight buildings that make up First Year Experience – Stewart, Altmann, Humphrey, Musselman, McSweeney, Apple, Meltcalf, Munzenmayer – are closing. The program will be in Eastway next fall.

Small Group houses a little more than 600 students. When FYE moves to Eastway, there will be more than 1,000 spaces. The move will also allow residence services to consolidate its space.

“Right now, we do have a little bit of excess capacity in our halls,” Logan said. “When you have spaces like that, it can cause some increased costs for student, so by getting our capacity a little bit closer to demand, we want to be able to operate as efficiently as possible.”

Jill Church, residential community coordinator for First Year Experience, said the program is also moving because none of the buildings in Small Group are accessible to students with disabilities.

“They were just built at a time when people didn’t probably think about accessibility issues,” Church said. “There are also some facility issues that would just be cost exorbitant to redo.”

The new First Year Experience will also offer services like tutoring and advising. Although the services will be available to all students, they will be targeted toward freshmen.

Joel Bynum, senior learning community coordinator of residential communities, said residence services wants to partner more closely with career services and financial aid for First Year Experience. None of the offices in First Year will be fully functioning offices, rather a starting place for students who aren’t sure where to go for things such as financial aid, advising and working on campus.

“To students who first get here, it can be a little intimidating to seek out these offices,” Bynum said. “It’s programming that is intended to bring students closer to those offices in Michael Schwartz.”

All of the offices will be located in the Fletcher/ Manchester side of Eastway. One of the lounges in Manchester Hall will become an outreach center that will be used for tutoring and other programs. These changes will not increase the cost of housing.

Contact room and board reporter Brittany Moseley at [email protected].