Greek organizations will have more than benches to stake their claim come fall 2008, when the former Lakeside Heights Nursing Center opens as a new dormitory.
Fraternities, sororities and any other student organization will be able to apply for space in the new dorm, which will have 15 designated areas that will hold up to eight groups.
“We want this for more than just Greek students,” said Dean of Students Matt Brown.
Honors and the entrepreneur students are also tentatively set to have space in the new building. Any interested student organization will have to go through an application process and be able to guarantee it will have at least 20 members dedicated to living at the facility, Brown said.
Organizations will be evaluated based on how many members currently live on campus, the number of people in the organization, the number of people willing to commit to living on campus and potentially the standing of an organization with the Office of Student Life.
“We look at this a providing more options for students,” Brown said.
Assistant Director of Student Life Kim Vance thinks it will not only provide more options, but it will also help the credibility and visibility of organizations.
“It allows them to bring the membership experience full circle,” she said. “It will help deepen sisterhood or brotherhood.”
For organizations, the move into the new dorm will give them a place to hang awards, decorate and make their own.
“It gives them a place to identify with,” said Vance, who also believes the living situation will help organizations learn to live and work with each other.
Interim Director for University Housing Pete Trentacoste said the “affinity housing” isn’t a new trend to hit college campuses. In his career, he said he’s worked with it and its been very successful.
“The communication benefits are limitless,” he said. “People will be living and learning together.”
Students will be living with two or three per room, depending on the layout of the wing.
Brown said the room prices will be comparable to the University Suites, which is $2,060 for a two-person room or $2,400 for a single room per semester.
Once a student organization is selected to live in the residence hall, it will have to go through an evaluation process each year to keep the space.
“That competition will drive student organizations to behave,” Brown said.
Most floors will have a lounge where students will be able to paint and personalize it to fit the group.
Applications to apply for space will be available through the dean of student’s office for student groups in November.