York Hill expansion envisioned

Amanda Hoskins

Facilities is considering themed housing in new residential buildings on the York Hill campus.

Facilities will work with student affairs to program a housing plan that supports students’ desires, Vice President of Facilities and Capital Planning Sal Filardi said.

In themed-style housing, students from the same organization or who have a similar “lifestyle” live under one apartment complex, Filardi said. The new buildings on York Hill could have 300 beds for themed housing and 300 beds for “regular” apartments, he said.

“In the next six to 12 months, we probably will have a better idea of what it is we would like to build,” Filardi said. “And then once we identify what it is we want to build, then we would figure out the funding and what it actually is that will be constructed.”

Filardi met with focus groups involving the Greek community earlier this year to discuss the possibility of Greek housing. The presidents of each chapter in Greek life, as well as recent members and a few others, were present at separate focus groups.

Greek housing is not the only thought on Filardi’s mind for housing on the York Hill campus. For example, students in the honors program or students who are interested in wellness housing could live in themed-buildings, Filardi said. The Greek community was simply the first group he spoke with.

“It’s not our intention to build housing that’s just Greeks are going to live in,” Filardi said. “It is for all students and what we’re trying to do is make some of it theme housing and some of it just traditional residence hall.”

Junior and Kappa Delta President Cristina Attard attended the focus groups. She said she was happy to know Filardi was interested in what the students had to say.

“It was great because students don’t always get their voice heard,” Attard said. “For Sal Filardi to be there and kind of gage us as to what we want so they are not just building buildings that we can’t use or are not really appreciative of was great. It was great that they included us in those discussions.”

Senior Theo Siggelakis is a member of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity who attended the focus groups.

“I think it’s great,” Siggelakis said. “I would love to do that option for at least one year. To live with 35 of my brothers, you get to spend more quality together and have more bonding and you get to achieve a greater sense of brotherhood, while still preserving the non-house Greek life environment that we have now.”

The Greek community at Quinnipiac is growing, and junior Kappa Alpha Theta President Kathryn Dunford said having themed-style housing, like Greek housing, will give Greek life here at the university more recognition.

“We have a really strong Greek life for how small we are and how new it is to this campus,” Dunford said. “I think this would help push us ahead in terms of how nationally Greek life at Quinnipiac is viewed.”

Filardi said he is taking the opinions and suggestions for what he saw at the Greek life focus groups into consideration, but no construction ideas are yet designed. [polldaddy poll=7956790]

“The students expressed their desires very clearly,” Filardi said. “Some of those are things that we could easily incorporate. Some are just wishful stuff that we have no intention of building.”

Students expressed mixed opinions about the plans for expansion and themed housing.

“I think it’s extremely segregating,” senior Wells Griffin, a member of Alpha Delta Pi, said. “I think you won’t be able to merse the student population with everyone else. All the Greeks will be with the Greeks, all the wellness will be with wellness. I’m only in Greek life because I met people who were going to do it, so if they were segregated I would never joined.”

Freshman Jennie Levine said she wanted to join a sorority on campus because the university did not have Greek housing.

“That’s one of the things that I really liked about [Greek life at Quinnipiac],” she said. “That I still could be part of the bigger community and the smaller community and join other clubs and other things and I think that [Greek housing] takes away from a lot of what we’re grooming toward.”

In addition to themed-style living arrangements, Filardi said he is aiming for all of the rooms built to be singles.

“We are trying to look at a diversity of housing spots to appeal to everybody,” Filardi said. “Some people are thrilled with living in doubles but I’ve also heard students say ‘when I become a senior I think it’s my right to have a single.’”

The York Hill campus was designed to house roughly 2,000 beds, however, due to cost issues at the time, only 1,500 beds were built on York Hill. As the numbers of students in the incoming classes grow, more housing and more attractive housing is in the works.