New year, new students, new look

As things quickly unfolded on Northern Kentucky University’s campus, So did the boxes students brought to move-in day at the residential village.

Students live in the resident halls for reasons as varied as the individual. Some leave home to gain a sense of individuality. Some leave to experience being immersed in college. And still some sprint to campus to get away from those pesky parents. Whatever the reason, NKU works to improve campus for its students.

“More and more students that choose to attend NKU are looking for the ‘complete college experience’ and many of those students view living on campus as a central component of that experience,” said Peter Trentacoste, director of university housing.

For Alex Cruey, the choice was in hope of expanding his social network.

“I’ll meet more friends and have more of a social life” he said.

Rachel Medlock, a junior at NKU, returned this year to stay connected with the community and be around people with similar interests.
“I wanted to be a bigger part of the community, to contribute and to be known on campus,” Medlock said. ”I like that I’m surrounded by people who are the same age, who share the same interest and have the same goals.”

In an effort to make students like Cruey and Medlock feel more at home away from home, NKU spent the summer renovating the exterior of the dorms and sprucing up the interior.

“We care deeply about the students that we serve and want them to enjoy living on campus,” Trentacoste said. “So far, we have received a lot of praise for the addition of color to the residence halls.”

Recently, NKU spent $2.7 million updating the exterior of the residential buildings.

In addition to painting the outside of most of the buildings, Callahan Hall now has a sense of NKU spirit with black and gold stairwells. A large painting of a Viking hat with bold black and gold letters reading NKU above it on the front glass windows of the main entrance to Callahan also show a sense of pride within the NKU community.

The university has also spent money updating carpet in worn areas along with couches in common areas in Norse and Woodcrest apartments.

“It’s important that we not only provide an outstanding co-curricular learning experience for them but also to provide the best facilities we are able to,” Trentacoste said.

Though many NKU students choose to commute, Trentacoste said applications for the dorms are higher this year than last year. He could not, however, provide a specific number since the department is still processing late cancellations.

An increase in students wanting to live on campus  has forced NKU to prepare a waiting list for students who still wish to live on campus. Students on the waiting list will receive a room when a current resident moves out or switches residential locations.

Other arrangements have been made to help students that are currently on the waiting list and that are in need of housing said Trentacoste.

“Some of our expanded occupancy accommodations this year include hotel space reserved at the Country Inn and Suites in Wilder, Ky., assigning RAs temporary roommates, and adding one additional roommate to premium or quad rooms in Callahan,” he said. “We do not intend to have these temporary accommodations continue all year.”

Justin Wagner, a senior at NKU, made it a priority to save his spot on campus in the spring semester. Wagner, and residents living in the dorms last semester were given the option of signing their contracts in advance to assure them a place to live on campus for the following year.

Of course there is one benefit for most students about living on campus. Your parents aren’t here to nag you.

“I like being away from my parents and the rules that we all had.” said freshman Kathryn Whitt.

Story by Tabitha Peyton