by Gabriella Pisano ’18
There are many factors that affect what an average college student worries about throughout the day. Keeping up with classes, spending time with friends, and participating in extra-curriculars constantly preoccupy the mind of the student. With all these concerns floating around, the Office of Residence Life is doing its part to make housing one less problem for students at Providence College.
Residence Life is making a few changes to housing. Next year is the first year that juniors are not permitted to live off campus, which means that more juniors will need on-campus housing than ever before.
Junior year housing is already difficult due to the fact that many juniors go abroad for a semester, and Residence Life acknowledges that it can be extremely difficult for juniors to form full groups to fill rooms.
In an effort to aid students, Residence Life is allowing sophomores and juniors to live together to give students a larger pool to pick from for housing.
Jana Valentine, director of the Office of Residence Life, said that in the past, students have asked if it was possible for juniors and sophomores to live together and were told no. Now, Residence Life is accommodating these students.
Valentine and Steven Sears, dean of students and the associate vice president for student affairs, discussed the change and sought out student feedback. Sears stated that he asked Student Congress for their thoughts on the matter, and that both resident assistants and hall directors were also consulted.
While the decision was made in the hopes of filling gaps in junior housing, that is not the primary concern of Residence Life.
Valentine stated, “I want students to live with other students that they’re compatible with. I want students to have great experiences with their roommates. Sometimes that doesn’t happen because of class year restrictions. Having first year students live with other first years is a very positive experience, but I believe that there is a lot of mentoring that can happen within class years at levels above first year.”
In past years, juniors and seniors have been permitted to live with one another. The feedback from students who have taken advantage of this opportunity has been primarily positive.
Claire Kleinschmidt ’17 is one of these students. When asked about her thoughts on allowing students of different class years to live together, Kleinschmidt responded, “Living with seniors as a junior allowed me to meet and engage with a new group of PC students and really become more a part of the campus community.
“I learned so much from them and their experience transitioning out of PC that I felt really prepared for senior year,” she continued. “Now, as a senior with a few junior roommates, I have really enjoyed being able to live with people I have formed close relationships with, regardless of their class year.”
In addition to this change, an entire floor in Fennell Hall will be reserved for first year students. In the past, freshmen have requested single rooms and Residence Life was unable to accommodate.
With this change, Special programming and community building will take place in order to ensure a comfortable community for first year students living alone.
Residence Life hopes that these changes will give students better living environments and allow them to dedicate more time and energy to other pursuits, ensuring that stresses of college do not revolve around housing.