Class of 2011 questions housing options

Residential Life believes that they are “offering juniors what they’ve been looking for,” referring to the Class of 2011. The Class of 2011, however, is not so sure.

It was announced last Monday that the Class of 2011 would be provided only 297 beds in Hill on the Mount Carmel campus. They will also receive housing at York Hill and Whitney Village, as well as university-owned houses off campus. But many feel they have received the short end of the stick, as the number of juniors on the Mount Carmel campus will greatly decrease.

The dorm swap has been spurred by changes to accommodate the incoming Class of 2013, as well as filling the available beds in York Hill.

The proposed detripling of Irma and Dana led Residential Life to place freshman in the Suites, forcing sophomores into Village and Mountainview. The domino effect will send upperclassmen off campus.

In addition, New Road housing will be a part of the lottery process for the first time. However, students who currently live in University housing on New Road will have the option to “squat,” or retain their homes for next year.

“In the future, I can see a time where the entire campus will be first-year and sophomore students,” Melissa Karipidis, associate director of Residential Life, said.

But for the Class of 2011, the future is coming a bit too fast. Class of 2011 President Michelle Massimi will be speaking with current sophomores to hear their points of view, and she plans to address her findings with Cindy Long Porter, the director of Residential Life, and to the rest of the Student Government.

SGA President Sean Geary agreed that something was askew.

“I don’t want to overdramatize this, but this is one of the biggest issues that this Student Government or any student government will have faced,” Geary, a senior and two-year president, said. “Every year, there is a group that is upset over the housing situation. But there is something very different about the proposed housing situation for next year,” he said.

“Unfortunately, this SGA and the student body being affected doesn’t have a lot of time to make the argument and change the situation. I think it’s a very dangerous situation.”

Geary also saw the push for upperclassmen away from the Mount Carmel campus as a negative one.

“A split between Mount Carmel, York Hill, and off-campus properties might be detrimental and severely debilitating to a sense of community,” he said. “You see two classes living on campus, and a junior and senior class that will become detached from the normal campus. I see a very large disadvantage.”

But Residential Life feels they are providing what students want.

“What we’re currently offering to juniors gets at what it is that they’re looking for,” Karipidis said. “The Hill is most popular because they’re apartments, and we’re able to offer all of the juniors the opportunity to live in an apartment or houses with a full kitchen which is more independent living and quite honestly better suited to upperclass students.”

“There are some students who like that convenience of being on the main campus,” Porter said. “But this is the direction that we’re going in.” Sophomore Louis Venturelli, both an SGA representative and the national communications representative for Residence Hall Council, understood the decision.

“As a student, obviously I’m upset,” Venturelli said. “But it’s growing pains. Maybe $500 was too much for a housing deposit when students didn’t know where they were going to live, but it’s a catch-22. The school needs an accurate number before they can make those decisions.”

Enrollment is expected to be higher than last year, which would make the Class of 2013 the largest freshman class in Quinnipiac’s history. Associate Vice President for Public Relations John Morgan estimated the incoming class to be around 1,600 students.

Currently, the number of housing deposits put down by students outnumbers the number of beds that Quinnipiac will provide. But Porter guaranteed a room assignment to all students who paid their housing deposit, saying “it’s happened every year.”

“I say that they’re guaranteed and I have no doubt they will have a bed,” Porter said.