By Andrew Shuman ‘19 and Corrine Previte ‘17
Next year will be bringing about many changes to the Gordon community, including many upperclassmen not being able to live off campus.
On Feb. 17, an email was sent out to all students announcing that next year the College will be opening The Village, “a new opportunity for upperclassmen housing,” Resident Life Director Michael Curtis said. This change will limit the number of students who are allowed to live off campus and instead will be providing opportunities for upperclassmen housing on campus.
Curtis said, “I am really excited to continue to improve these spaces. I think this offers a great opportunity for students and groups of friends to live in a house together.” In order to make these accommodations Gordon will be making specific renovations over the summer.
Renovations include improvements of:
- Conrad and MacInnis bathrooms
- the Hilton and MacInnis lounges and kitchens
- the Rider lounge by removing the walls
- the Rider kitchen, one room on each floor in Conrad and Rider to create a quiet study space
- Gordon will be building a back deck off of one of the houses.
- In addition to these renovations, the College will be purchasing a grill to provide an outdoor cooking space for residents.
Conrad and Rider will be able to accommodate 20 students, and 16 students each in Hilton and MacInnis. Conrad and MacInnis will be female housing while Rider and Hilton will be male housing.
Seniors seeking to live off campus will quality if they’re at least 23 years old, a part-time student , married or living at home. If students do not qualify in any of these categories, students will not be able to live off campus.
Students seem to be dissatisfied with the updated standards as they believe that the residential on campus experience may not be the most beneficial, to all who attend Gordon.
“I have found my off-campus housing to be much cheaper, even including factors such as gas, food and paying for utilities. I actually end up saving about $400 per month, at least…which is a significant amount, considering Gordon costs a substantial amount to attend per year” senior Joshua Spoonhour said.
Another senior, Rachel Olugbemi, also said living off-campus had benefits. “It’s been nice to gently transition into life as an adult; this year has been my first experience commuting. I’ve also gotten to know the local area more, instead of just staying on-campus; the North Shore has a lot of gems! I think part of being an adult is finding cool local things to do, instead of waiting around for CEC to entertain you,” she said.
The Village, as well as the recent change in the standard off-campus housing application process, has been a response to finances at Gordon, as well as Gordon’s ability to retain students in on-campus housing programs.
Marta Peralta, the resident director of Bromley, said, “Gordon has always been a residential college and it has always been marketed this way, which means that we have to have 88-90 percent of our students living on campus. In the past few years, it has been difficult to hit those numbers.”
Peralta further explained that she believed this off-campus trend is not just one affecting Gordon College, but other institutions as well, “I think what’s happening, not just at Gordon, but across higher education, is that we are seeing an increase in more non-traditional student. Which fits into the ‘automatic approval’ category.” So as there is an increase in the ‘non-traditional student,’ Gordon has less of an ability to approve students to off campus housing who do not fit the mold of: living at home, married, 23, or part-time.
This updated standard may also affect juniors looking to join the on-campus apartment option in the future. As the trend is for seniors to occupy spaces with more freedom and responsibility, and as there will be a greater presence of seniors on campus in the future, there may be a decrease in availability for juniors seeking apartments.
Peralta said, “It may mean that we have fewer juniors in apartments. Right now apartments are majority seniors, and some juniors, so I guess we will have to see if that changes, but that is one of the reasons we added the Village. So that students feel as though they have some increase of independence and responsibility as they go through their time at Gordon.”
Olugbemi said the college’s changes could backfire.
“I think (updated standards) will encourage students to become part-time, or to transfer. For some people, Gordon’s bubble is boring and suffocating. They would need to escape somehow. People who chafe under Gordon’s rules will be forced to stay on-campus, which I think will cause more conflicts…”
In order to apply for an apartment or the Village students will need be a junior or senior, or over 20 years old by September 1, 2017. On the application students will be able to indicate their preference if they want to live in Bromley, Tavilla, or The Village.