More freshmen, closer quarters

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Former study lounges in McCormick have been converted into quads for the influx of students. Photo by Aaron Ledesma/ aaron.ledesma@mu.edu.

When admitted students sent in housing deposits last May, the last thing they would have expected to receive back was a letter about ‘temporary housing.’ However, that was exactly the case.

Dr. James McMahon, assistant vice president and dean of Residence Life said as a result of housing assignments this past summer, eight percent of freshmen and 44 percent of transfer students found themselves without permanent residency for the onset of the school year.

In McCormick Hall, 23 students are temporarily housed in renovated floor lounges. Study lounges in Abbottsford and O’Donnell Halls were converted to permanent living spaces, which now accommodate an additional 34 students.

McMahon also said some students are temporarily assigned to university-owned apartments, with the option to stay and sign a lease.

Danielle Colletti, a sophomore transfer student in the College of Arts and Sciences from the University of Iowa, was placed in a McCormick quad with other transfers. Colletti said the Office of Residence Life notified her of the temporary housing status and the names of her roommates in late summer.

She said she was initially uncomfortable living in a freshman dorm, but has grown to appreciate the quad.

“We wish we could stay here for a semester,” Colletti said. “It would be a downsize and a pain to move out.”

She has not had any contact from the Office of Residence Life regarding her housing situation since coming to campus.

Rick Arcuri, associate dean for administration in the Office of Residence Life, said ORL is currently tracking down move-in no shows to see if more rooms are available. He said housing in the lounges is temporary, and once space opens up, residents will be reassigned.

He also said temporary housing decreases the amount of study space available to students.

“It is important to us to clear those spaces,” Arcuri said.

Emily Schmidt, sophomore in the College of Education, lived in Abbottsford Hall last year and frequently used the floor study lounges.

“I am personally offended that the study lounges on the floors have been turned into housing,” she said. “It eliminates social interaction between new floor mates and hinders the amount of study space in Abbottsford.”

Nick Kerger, sophomore in the College of Business Administration, lived in O’Donnell Hall last year and served as O’Donnell hall council treasurer.

“Freshmen year is always difficult, but they’ll have fun in OD,” Kerger said.

He said if the students are relocated from O’Donnell to a coed dorm, they might have a tougher transition because the all-male dorm is a different environment than any other.

Arcuri also said that if necessary, O’Donnell’s basement could probably house 12-14 more students, but it is unlikely. He ensured the “man cave,” a popular activity space for residents, will not be affected by any housing changes this year.

Although he is unaware of any expansion or acquisition of new dormitories for Marquette in the future, Arcuri said Marquette has several committees dedicated to things such as long-term planning and acquiring new campus spaces.

There will be a meeting to strategize next fall’s housing within the upcoming week.

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