ResLife plans housing shift

Annie Salamone

A major shift in on-campus housing is in order for the upcoming 2004-05 academic year. In an attempt to make room accommodations more ideal for students and reduce the geographical separation of classes, the Office for Residence Life has realigned the housing assignments of several residence halls.

With this housing shift, the majority of upperclassmen will be housed on West campus, sophomores on Main campus and freshmen on South campus. St. Mary’s Hall, formerly home to the Villanova Experience, will now be available as mostly singles for juniors and for seniors with guaranteed housing. The learning communities will relocate to South campus dorms.

Other changes include designating Fedigan and McGuire Halls for freshmen, a change from this year, in which sophomores were housed in both. In addition, Alumni and Corr Halls will be designated for quiet study.

“Students typically like to be clustered together with other students in their same graduating class,” Marie Schauder, the assistant director for housing services said.

“Unfortunately, no one class can fit on one particular area of the campus, so Residence Life tries its best to group them together as best it can.”

The West campus apartments, mainly comprised of juniors, can only house about 1,200 residents, yet 1,500 juniors are eligible for the housing lottery.

However, Schauder noted that, “opening St. Mary’s Hall for upperclassmen helped with this issue of geographical separation.”

The new designation of St. Mary’s consequently causes a shift in the learning communities. The Office for Residence Life, in conjunction with the Vice President for Student Life’s Office has decided to revamp the communities to combine the Leadership Learning Community with the Villanova Experience program, which up until now, were separate groups.

This new arrangement adds a one-credit course that teaches leadership and personal effectiveness to participating students. And now, with St. Mary’s reserved for upperclassmen, the Experience program will be relocated to South Campus, most likely St. Monica or Katharine Halls.

While the majority of rooms in St. Mary’s Hall were singles, the doubles of St. Monica and Katharine Halls will help to give what Schauder calls a “life education” for freshmen in the learning communities.

This also works out for upperclassmen who choose to live in a single after previous experience with roommates.

“I think roommates, good or bad, are part of the college experience,” Matt Depont, a sophomore and Villanova Experience alumnus, said.

The general student response to this change has been positive. Laurie Goldberg, a sophomore and Villanova Experience alumna, said that she “liked the Experience program and the living community as a whole, but I did feel slightly isolated from the rest of the freshmen,” who were mainly housed on South campus.

Goldberg feels that the change will be good for the students who “were not able to get an apartment, but still wanted to be able to live close to their friends.”

However Vu Pham, a sophomore who lived in Delurey as part of the Visions of Freedom program, said that he “didn’t mind [being apart from many of the other students of his class] at all,” and could simply walk to see his friends who lived outside of his dorm.

On the whole, DePont was “excited to see that the Office for Residence Life is making changes in an effort to accommodate the students’ needs.”

Room assignments for both current freshmen and upperclassmen will be available near the end of the semester.