The Collegian
Thursday, August 18, 2022

Online registration among major housing changes

As University of Richmond undergraduate students consider their housing options for next year, a number of changes will be in effect, including the reassignment of residence halls and an online registration system.

Next year, freshman males will be housed in Dennis, Marsh and Wood halls, while freshman women will remain in Lora Robins Court and Moore Hall.

Thomas Hall, along with Gray and South courts will be reserved for upperclassman males. Freeman, Jeter and Robins halls, as well as North Court, will house upperclassmen females, said Carolyn Bigler, assistant director of Student Housing.

The deans prefer that first-year students live in the traditional dormitory double rooms and communal bathrooms because they said it promoted a sense of community by forcing interaction and socialization, Bigler said.

The long-term goal for residence life on campus is to make the experience mimic the student's progressive development, beginning as a freshman living in a traditional dorm.

That process continues in the sophomore in junior year, when students move into suite-style housing and eventually, as seniors, live in an apartment, Westhampton College dean Juliette Landphair said. She also noted that gender balance on each side of the lake was also a continuous objective.

"I'm pretty committed to keeping the first-year halls single-sex," Landphair said. "But beyond that, I see the relevance and the desire for more options. That's our goal -- to provide more options after the first year."

The room selection process is also undergoing changes. Just like tuition payments, room selection has moved to BannerWeb. Students will no longer have to stand outside Whitehurst while waiting to select their rooms for next year. The room selection process will begin on March 17, with apartment registration for rising junior and senior men and women, and the process will continue until April 10.

As construction signs seem to remain prevalent, Steve Bisese, vice president for student development, said Lakeview Hall was not built to accommodate a larger student body. Instead, it was built to enable the renovation of other dormitories, another step toward increasing the living space to student ratio, he said.

"It's very rare that you have a school doing such renovations and constructions without the intent to increase the number of students," Bisese said.

Keller Hall will continue to house primarily international students, Bigler said.

Jeter Hall is the next residence hall scheduled for renovation, but several other construction projects are in line before it, she said. Next year, Lakeview will primarily house both male and female students who are involved in the living and learning programs students applied for in February, Bigler said.

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There are also programs that are scheduled to launch next fall, including the precursors to the eventual Quality Enhancement Plan that Richmond is required to fulfill for re-accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, said Patrick Benner, associate dean for residence life.

"They're a stepping stone toward the Quality Enhancement Plan," Benner said. "We can't officially roll out the plan until fall 2009 since it's still being evaluated by the S.A.C.S. committee."

Each of the five programs centers on a different theme designed to meld educational experiences and extracurricular interests. The variety of topics for the 2008 programs ranged from life, literature and art to Spanish in the community, Bigler said.

"The goal of all this is to foster a more intellectually engaged campus," Landphair said.

Lakeview was an appropriate choice for housing the students in these programs because the suite-style rooms and coeducational capabilities promote the community-building basis of the programs, Bigler said. Any beds that are available after the living and learning students are accommodated will be reserved for upperclassmen, she said.

So what's to be done with the empty Atlantic and Pacific houses sitting on the fringe of campus?

"I've heard they might transform those into residential spaces for law students," Landphair said.

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