Schroeder Hall to become home to new performing arts floor

Schroeder Hall will be home to the university's new performing arts community. Photo by Elise Krivit/ [email protected]

After a two-year campus-wide effort, a performing arts living-learning community in Schroeder Hall is set to launch next fall.

The program is the brainchild of several campus entities, including the Residence Hall Association, the Office of Residence Life, the departments of music and performing arts, and students.

James McMahon, assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of residence life, said Schroeder was chosen because it has great space for those who are already involved in the performing arts.

“There is a classroom in the basement of Schroeder, there’s a music room, a dance studio and a space for vocalists,” McMahon said.

Like the CommUNITY floors in McCormick Hall and the Dorothy Day Social Justice floors in Straz Tower, the Performing Arts community will require a course. “Exploration of the Performing Arts,” a year-long 1.5-credit course, will be taught by both Erik Janners, director of instrumental music, and Stephen Hudson-Mairet, chair of the department of performing arts.

The “floor” will accommodate 48 sophomore students housed on two separate floors: one wing of a female floor and one wing of a male floor.

Janners said attending four performances will be mandatory for students involved — two of which the entire group will attend and another two students can attend individually.

Being involved in the performing arts at Marquette is not a requirement, but the program is geared toward those who have an appreciation for the arts.

“(The floor) is designed to be for people who aren’t in an (arts) organization but have an interest in the performing arts,” Janners said at a Nov. 13 information session for the program.

McMahon said he expects entry into the program to be competitive, citing the results of a freshman survey and the draws of the floor.

Students, including College of Business Administration freshman Zak Frankiewicz, are already interested.

“I’m an English minor looking for any clubs with a strong art affiliation,” Frankiewicz said. “My friends told me about (the floor), and I decided to check it out. It sounds like a lot of fun.”

Others, including those involved in the performing arts, appreciate the diversity that the floor will bring.

“It’s a good way to integrate a lot of non-band but still musical and art-appreciative people,” said Jena Thurow, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences and member of Marquette’s pep band and wind ensemble.

Applications and a brochure for the performing arts floor are available on the ORL website. The deadline for the applications is Feb. 24, prior to 2012-13 housing selection.