Students may be a bit concerned by the emails they have received regarding campus housing for the 2014-2015 academic year.
Rumors of changes to dorm gender have sent questions flying as to why this is happening. Oh, and what exactly is happening?
Before spring break students received an email informing them about living situations for the coming school year.
This email provided detailed information about roommate requests as well as some upcoming changes for the Union dorms.
Ken Litscher, director of Residence Life, said that his office began examining occupancy for the upcoming school year, comparing it to the former year, and foresaw several empty apartments or apartments with only two or three occupants.
“One thing that we hear from graduate students is it would be nice to have some graduate housing on campus,” Litscher said. “We had some significant openings that we could condense into a couple of buildings and [provide for] graduate housing.”
The School of Pharmacy has requested housing for its third- and fourth-year students in the past. During these years the students complete practicums both in and out of Jackson. However, they are only in one rotation for one to two months.
“Our students are basically full time on-campus for five semesters,” said Mark Stephens, director for Experiential Education. “Beginning in January of their third year … they complete their experiential educations; that’s when they’re doing their clinical rotations.”
The School of Pharmacy provides housing in some of the other practicum locations in Memphis, Nashville and Tupelo, Miss., allowing the students to only have to keep an apartment lease in Jackson for those rotations.
Many of these students have asked if there is a possibility for them to live on campus during the Jackson rotations to avoid year-round leases that they use for a fraction of the time. “To them, in some ways it’s kind of a waste to only need their apartment for three or four months [when] they’re paying for 12 months of a lease,” said Stephens.
“If they could let [the lease] go that’s just that much more money that they’re able to save and put towards other things.” Due to these and other needs, changes have been made to the Union dorm facilities.
Warmath 1, which has been a part of men’s housing, will again be married and family housing.
The biggest change, however, is the in the Hope quad, which has previously been women’s dorms. Hope 1 will become an upperclassman men’s building, and Hope 2 and 3 will be used for graduate student housing.
Freshman housing will remain in Heritage, switching Dehoney to women’s and Lee to men’s, Grace 1, men’s, and Ayers 4, Grace 2 and 3, women’s.
Men’s upperclassman dorms will be Watters 1-to-4 in addition to Hope 1.
Women’s upperclassman dorms will be Hurt 1-to-4, Ayers 1, 2 and 3.
“I’ve talked with a couple students who have the impression that we are trying harder to keep guys and girls apart, which is not at all our intention,” Litscher said. “Personally I love the atmosphere of the Ayers quads; they have the most welcoming atmosphere of all the quads … I think we’ll miss that next year.”
All apartments will house four students in the upcoming year. In regard to roommate requests, students are being given incentives to request their three roommates.
Priority for roommate requests will be given to groups who have registered for the fall beginning with groups of four, then three and, finally, two.
Within these groups, first priority will be given based on seniority, Litscher said.