Today: Apr 21, 2024

Residence Life office announces changes

Jessica Giannone, General Assignment Reporter:

For students like junior Tom Cassarini, living in Wilkinson Hall is desirable because it is close to Connecticut Hall. For others, like sophomore Lauren Bryant, it means the “post-Conn syndrome.” 

The option of where to live on campus, depending on class year, was one of the issues Residence Life addressed at a discussion held in Chase Hall on March 2, as Director of Residence Life Angela Todaro and Associate Director of Housing Robert DeMezzo discussed anticipated changes to be made over the next year. 

DeMezzo told students that if they were currently juniors, or have 60 credits or more, they could remain in the straight-line and West Campus residence halls, but if they were going to be “juniors” next semester, they had to leave. 

“We need space for incoming students,” said Todaro. 

She said the changes are initiated as a way to accommodate students while staying true to programming goals, and not giving “the boot” to upperclassmen. 

Junior Jon Fonck said he thinks students should have the option to have quadruple rooms in the straight-line dorms, noting that it would be cheaper. 

Todaro said because there is a housing shortage at Southern, triple rooms in the West Campus and straight-line buildings will only be an option for incoming students. 

Cassarini said he thinks students living in North Campus should have the option to have co-ed rooms. Fonck said the straight-line dorms should have co-ed floors. 

DeMezzo said the freshmen buildings are more focused on transitioning in, while the upperclassmen buildings focus on topics such as resumes, and the transition out. 

“This is the front face of our community,” said Todaro. “We want you to have nice comfortable places you can hang out in.” 

Among the housing changes are new furniture for the downstairs lounges with “soft, nice fabric” that matches, as well as tables, according to Todaro. A laundry alert system is also being initiated, which allows students to go online and see what is available, done and receive texts of notification.

Todaro said a wireless service will also be available in all residence hall rooms. 

“That would be really great,” said junior Nick Hafele, who lives in West. “It doesn’t work sometimes.” 

Bryant said the wireless service now “really sucks,” and getting into it is “such a pain.” She said she doesn’t like how the Ethernet hubs are limited, and her roommates don’t always get Internet.

“No more hubs, no more cords,” said Todaro. “It’ll all be wireless.”

She said they are also in the process of major landscaping of the quad, and noted they want to make it more like West, and would like to add in basketball courts. She said Brownell Hall is getting construction done as well, and there will also be a section in the West garage for bike storage space.

There was also talk about getting rid of the “peg board” walls in the underclassmen dorms. Hafele said he would like to see the peg walls changed.

Todaro said requests over the last couple of years have brought upon the initiatives for changes, and said it’s an important option [to accommodate the students].

Additional Living Learning communities are also being established, such as a Health and Wellness Community in Wilkinson for first and second year students interested in living a “healthy lifestyle” who are encouraged to practice general daily wellness; a Math and Science Community in Hickerson for such majors building a career in the natural sciences; and a Transfer Student Community in Schwartz and Farnham.

An Honors Community at West Campus, which was established in 2008, is also available for first and second year students admitted to the Honors College.

“We’re trying to move students where they need to be,” said DeMezzo.

Todaro said there are also gender neutral housing options, which can be requested through Counseling Services. 

Residence Life is also planning on doing open houses for upperclassmen buildings, as well as an event for roommate selection.

Todaro said Residence Life is continuing to work with facilities to address maintenance concerns and programming on campus, and the police with parking concerns.

“We hope that students have a safe, clean, comfortable living experience,” she said.

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