New apartments, dorm renovations, and policy changes improve residence life

By Hannah Mason, Assistant Editor

 There are many options and policies for residential students at West Liberty to consider for the 2015-16 academic year, several of them new. University Place II is scheduled to open for the fall semester, and both University Place facilities feature many new policy changes. Also, the Guest Policy for residential students has been recently reviewed and altered, and the campus residence halls have seen many renovations.

Specialty housing applications are due by Friday, March 20, with decisions to be made by March 27, and residence hall room selections will be held within the first two weeks of April, according to Marcella Snyder, Associate Dean of Student Services and Director of Housing and Residence Life.

Specialty housing includes theme floors in the residence halls, the Commons Apartments, University Place I and II, and specialty houses. According to Snyder, the specialty houses available for the 2015-16 academic year will be the Nursing House, Dental Hygiene House, Education House, Chi Omega House, Phi Delta Theta House, and the International House, as well as a new addition of the Alpha Xi Delta House.

According to Snyder and Patrick Henry, Chief of Operations of Maintenance, University Place II is set to be completed this summer and will be ready to open next semester. The UPII facility, like UPI, will be leased by the University and available as specialty housing for West Liberty residential students. Each apartment will feature two bedrooms and two bathrooms, laundry within each apartment unit, a living room and a kitchen. UPII supplies many appliances, but unlike UPI, the apartments are not furnished.

In addition, there are many new policy changes for University Place I and University Place II to come into effect for the 2015-2016 academic year, including changes to the move-in date for residents, length of the contract to include a 12-month leasing option, changes to visitation, judicial record, appliance, and alcohol policies, all of which can be found at westliberty.edu/residence-life/upinfo. University Place facilities are also notably allowing caged pets such as ferrets, guinea pigs, lizards, hamsters, rabbits, etc., according to a set of specific guidelines.

The application for specialty housing, as well as eligibility requirements and more information, can be found westliberty.edu/residence-life/specialtyinfo. Campus residence halls have also undergone some new renovations recently. According to Snyder, the lobbies of Hughes, Curtis, Beta, and Bonar Halls have all recently been renovated, including the new addition of free wi-fi in all residence hall lobbies. About the Krise Hall lobby, Snyder said, “We are in the process of deciding the winner of the Krise Hall design contest. There were several great submissions, and in the end we may well use ideas from multiple submissions. We will continue to look at ways to improve our facilities for residential students.”

Snyder said that Boyd Hall, the former boys’ freshman dormitory which was closed this past year, will not be available next academic year, either. According to Henry, “The University is still looking into options on how this residence hall will best serve the students.”

All West Liberty residents are affected by a newly reviewed and updated Guest Policy. Previously, guests were permitted to stay in a residence hall for no more than three consecutive nights and no more than four nights per month. According to the new policy, students are allowed to set individual guidelines and expectations regarding guests through a roommate agreement, with the maximum limits for overnight guests at the University being no more than three consecutive nights and no more than nine nights per month. The full Guest Policy can be found at westliberty.edu/residence-life/newpolicy.

Snyder added, “This started as an idea from SGA asking us to review the policy. We are currently looking at other policies to review and see if there is a need for updating/altering policy for the benefit of the students.” The next policy to be reviewed, Snyder stated, is the quiet hours policy, and any student who would like to share ideas or be part of future focus groups should contact Marcella Snyder at [email protected].

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