By: Erica Lampert ~Staff Writer~
It will no longer be an honor to live on Fenwick’s fifth floor as the section of the dorm that was once reserved for honors students has been opened to all students looking for on-campus housing.
“Last March, after the 2016 First Year Housing Selection process, I notified Dr. Yandell, the director of the University Scholars Program, that we had very limited interest in sophomore housing for honors students,” Senior Director for Student Affairs Lori Lambert said. “This was a continued trend from the previous two to three years.”
In order to keep priority status, a group choosing this housing had to have 100 percent or 75 percent of their group members in one of the three honors programs at the time of selection. In the spring of 2016, however, there was only one group of six men who signed up for the honors priority housing in Fenwick Place.
“The reason for the percentages was to ensure a living learning community for those in the honors program,” Lambert said.
Due to limited interest in this option last year and several years prior, the option has since been removed. This was communicated in March 2016.
“I think there was a lowered interest because it appears that the majority of students don’t study in their rooms and are usually spread around campus doing their work,” junior Megan Cranston said. “So maybe they don’t care too much about where they live.”
The new development came as a shock for many current first-years who were told priority housing was a perk of the honors programs as they enter the time in the semester for housing selection.
“Since housing priority for sophomore was one of the incentives for incoming Xavier honors students, I think that this decision should have been made with more input from students,” junior Zenab Saeed said.
Currently, Lambert has been working closely with Yandell in order to offer a new housing option this year for honors students. The plan involves a house at 1415 Dana Avenue that has six separate bed spaces and plentiful common space areas. No interest has been shown from any honor students about this option so far, but they are hopeful a group may express interest soon.
“The hope is the house could become a center for programs, gatherings and study sessions as well as housing for honor students,” Lambert said. “Dr. Yandell and I will continue to talk about how to create a true living/ learning community for students in the honors program.”
“I believe that honors students do work really hard and deserve to be honored for it somehow,” first-year Tine Sokun said.
If the situation works well and there is a lot for interest from the honors students, there is also an option to expand to two houses on 1421 Dana Avenue in the future.
As of now, there are many housing options for rising sophomores including apartment options in the Village, the Commons Apartments, Manor House and 1019 Dana, as well as options in several of the Residence Halls such as Fenwick Place, Kuhlman Hall and Buenger Hall.
“The Office of Residence Life believes all available residential communities are conductive to sleeping and studying for all students,” Lambert said.