-Tori Langworthy, Contributing Writer
“I can’t wait to see the new dorms,” said Faith Varner, sophomore psychology major from Raymond, Miss. Varner said that she has been waiting to hear about the dorms, but feels like she knows nothing. Many students, upper and lower classman, are waiting with anticipation to hear more information about the new dorms that will be finished by the fall of 2015. In addition to this, many rising seniors have questions about the status of off campus living. Dr. Jim Turcotte, vice president of enrollment management and student affairs has the answers to these questions.
“Dr. Steve Stanford is managing the companies that are building, and they have given him assurances. They have signed contracts guaranteeing him that they will be ready. We are so confident, we are going to do room sign ups and proceed as if they are going to be moved into, cause we think that this is going to happen,” said Turcotte when asked about the progress and completion of the new dorms.
The new dorms are providing a total of 184 beds, which is 46 suites. These will be filled in the order of seniority. “We are going to take seniority and groups first. Meaning if you are a senior, and in a group of four, than it is top priority. If you are a junior and a group of four, you are next,” Turcotte said. With four separate bedrooms, two suite bathrooms, a full kitchen, a living area, and a dining area, these dorms will be the ideal home for upper classman college students in the fall. No meal plan will be required for students who live in the new dorm, because of the kitchen. Students will get a taste of independence. Of course, with amenities like these, this dorm will more than likely be priced higher than the current dorms on campus, but according to Turcotte, the cost to live in the new dorms has not been decided on yet.
Because of the new housing being built, Turcotte says that no incentives will be given to seniors to live off campus. “We do not have plans this year to select a group of students, and let them keep their residential scholarships, and move off campus,” said Turcotte. In the past eight years, there were four times that seniors were given incentives to live off campus, because there were not enough beds and the dorms were over capacity. That is not the case for this year, and administration is sure that there will be plenty of housing for students. This means that rising seniors who want to live off campus will not receive on campus living scholarships. They will receive only commuter scholarships. Commuter scholarships are essentially half of the on campus living scholarships, which means that seniors who want to live off campus need to do the math; will living off campus be cheaper or more expensive than living in the dorms. There are several aspects that come in to play when thinking about off campus living, but administration is encouraging all students to embrace living on campus.