Prompted in part by the recent decision to increase the size of the student body—by 120 students over a four-year period—and by student request, the Office of Residential Life (ResLife) has implemented changes to next year’s housing options. The new options include more all-freshman housing, opportunities for sophomores to live in six-person rather than two-person groups, the opening of Senior Fauver apartments to juniors, and additional senior houses.
“Currently, we put a mix of freshmen and sophomores in the halls of the Butterfield Colleges so that freshmen don’t feel isolated,” said ResLife Director Frances Koerting. “The Committee of Undergraduate Housing was looking at some changes that can better accommodate the needs of both the freshman and sophomore classes.”
Starting next fall, one floor in the Butterfields and two in Nicolson will be reserved for freshmen, allowing 100 more freshmen to live in single-class housing, where there is currently a mix of first-year and second-year students.
“There are always more freshmen who want to live in all-freshman housing instead of mixed housing,” Koerting said. “They also tend to prefer having a roommate.”
ResLife has also expanded housing options for rising sophomores: this year’s freshmen can now register to live together in one of six “Copenhagens,” a cluster of four single rooms and a double in the Butterfield dorms. This switch will allow sophomores to fill many of the single rooms previously as signed to freshmen. Groups assigned to Copenhagens will have the option of choosing rooms individually or defaulting to random computer allotment. Groups of six students that do not receive a Copenhagen will be split into groups of two and assigned a lottery number in General Room Selection (GRS).
Although the decrease in mixed freshmen and sophomore halls was intended to better accommodate students’ housing requests, current freshmen have mixed feelings about the changes.
“I think that the new policy is detrimental because it limits ways in which a person can meet new people,” said Jelisa Adair ’13. “Housing is a great way to diversify, and this way people will isolate themselves with their friends.”
Shivan Bhavnani ’13 disagreed. “The Butterfields are isolated within themselves,” Bhavnani said. “If you are given the option to live with your friends it could be a lot more fun.”
These changes, however, are not limited to underclassmen.
“A lot more houses will be available for rising seniors,” Koerting said. “Students usually prefer to live in a house in their senior year.”
New additions available to rising seniors include two four-person housing options—a new unit at 162 Church St. and a unit at 109 Cross St. previously used by United States Postal Service to store boxes—as well as a three-person unit at 172 Cross St. that used to be rented out to a faculty member.
With more senior houses available, some Senior Fauver apartments will likely be left open to juniors. Unlike HiRise, which accommodates two-person groups, and LoRise, which accommodates four-person groups, the apartments in Fauver have five bedrooms. While this provides a new opportunity for juniors, the change may put five-person groups in a difficult situation if they do not receive a Fauver apartment.
“We are asking juniors to have a back-up plan,” Koerting said. “We don’t want juniors to just leave one of their friends to fend for themselves.”
GRS opened on Feb. 12 and can be accessed through the student portfolio by clicking on the “Room Selection” link under “Student Life at Wesleyan.”