In anticipation of the arrival of the College’s largest incoming freshmen class in nine years, the lounges on each floor of Travers and Wolfe Halls were revamped and redesigned.
Unlike the 2006-2007 academic year, the lounges of Travers and Wolfe will no longer be used as common areas. Instead, they will help house the incoming freshmen.
The lounges now contain beds, desks, dressers and closets. Each lounge has been redesigned to hold four freshmen.
However, some incoming freshmen will live off campus this semester, according to Chris Farrell, assignments coordinator for the Office of Residential and Community Development.
“There are some (freshmen) who didn’t accept housing,” Farrell said. In previous years, freshmen were required to live on campus and purchase a meal plan, but this year some were allowed to live off campus due to the number of new students and housing complications related to the abandoned Metzger Apartments.
The increased class size and new living arrangements are not a new challenge for the College, and revamping the Travers and Wolfe lounges is not the only such measure the College has used in prior years.
“Lounges in Travers and Wolfe have been used as quads off and on for the past six plus years,” Kellie Perkowsky, resident director of Wolfe Hall, said.
Other rooms in Travers and Wolfe will also be altered to accommodate the incoming freshmen.
One such room was a former computer lab. The room, located on the second floor of Travers, was used as a triple for years.
“For this year,” Perkowsky said, “(the College) has reinstalled the wall that used to be (in the room) and it is going to go back to being two double rooms.”
Additionally, some apartments previously used as housing for Graduate Assistants have been changed into freshmen housing. The apartments, located in Wolfe and Cromwell, can house two to four freshmen each.
The College has revised its housing options for freshmen several times. Formerly, freshmen were housed in Norsworthy Hall, according to Michael Robbins, area director for the office of Residential and Community Development.
The new living arrangements will affect not only the incoming freshmen class, but also the Community Advisors (CA) living and working with them.
The lounges of Travers and Wolfe were used last year as convenient gathering places for CAs to host events and conduct floor meetings. This year, according to Perkowsky, CAs will alternate between the classrooms located on the second, third and fourth floors of Travers and Wolfe.
“While residential life professional and student staff would like to have more common space, it hasn’t seemed to negatively impact our programming or student satisfaction in any way,” Perkowsky said.
The increased class size was implemented this year as a measure to help offset some of the College’s financial burden due to the state budget cuts. The budget cuts, finalized during the summer, cost the College over $8 million.
In addition to increasing the size of the freshman class, the College also admitted a record number of transfer students, many of whom will live in Cromwell.