With such a high percentage of students living on campus, student life at the University of Richmond is focused on community and a 24-hour education.

According to the Richmond Web site, 89 percent of undergraduate students live on campus, which classifies it as a mainly residential campus.

"It's part of why people come here," said Steve Bisese, vice president for student development. "I'm sure when people tour they are thinking about being on campus all four years."

The new housing options are being built to accommodate students' needs, Bisese said. Students provided feedback to the housing office and many of the requests are being answered, he said.

For students who study abroad, many spend their spring semester living off-campus. Junior Kristine Najjar, who lives in the Tuckahoe Apartments, said she enjoys living on her own.

"I feel a lot more independent," said Najjar, who plans to live in the Horsepen Apartments her senior year. "The division of studying and working at school and then getting down time in my apartment is nice."

Senior Chloe Bashian lives in the University Forest Apartments and has lived on campus all four years except for the spring of her junior year, after she returned from abroad, she said.

"The culture of Richmond makes it fun to live on campus," Bashian said. "It's sort of a rite of passage to live in the apartments as a senior, after hanging out in them for four years."

The conditions of the apartments are one drawback to living on campus, Bashian said. Understanding this, there will be many renovations made to housing in the next few years, Bisese said.

Bisese said students have expressed a desire for more singles, more suites and apartments with single bedrooms.

Although students who live off campus have more independence, there are drawbacks, Najjar said. "Going out on campus on the weekends requires more planning," she said.

"I think living off campus can be isolating," said Bashian, who lived in the Horsepen Apartments last year. "If you don't make an effort to get yourself to campus and stay for the day, you miss out on the campus community at Richmond."

Contact reporter Molly McGrath at molly.mcgrath@richmond.edu