By Daniel Morgan, Editor
West Liberty University’s department of Housing and Student Life is presenting several changes for residence life on-campus beginning in the fall 2017 semester. Buildings will no longer be categorized as freshmen or upperclassmen-only, and Rogers Hall will reopen to offer students private dorm rooms.
“We see more and more schools going away from having specific housing areas for first year students,” said Director of Housing and Student Life Marcella Snyder. “We were getting an increasing number of first-year students that wanted to live with upperclassmen, and just decided now is the right time to make that change and have freshmen live in any building. It just opens up more doors for them to be involved in the upperclassmen areas and things like that. It integrates them more quickly.”
Snyder explained that freshmen students are already allowed to live in an upperclassmen area, but the fall semester will embrace the change in full effect. The housing process will not change; seniors, juniors, sophomores, and current freshmen will get to choose their living arrangements first, in that order. Then, incoming freshmen assignments will be made.
“If you are an upperclassmen and you want to live in Hughes, and you have a freshman friend that wants to live with you there, you can do that now,” Snyder said. “But I think we’re still going to see certain buildings that will be predominantly freshmen because they are going to be placed after our current students. Current students will have priority.”
While Rogers Hall will offer single rooms starting in the fall, community bathrooms will remain in the building as well as the lack of air conditioning. However, those single rooms will be offered at the regular housing rate with no extra charge.
“I think with the reopening of Rogers, where you can have a private room with the regular room rate, there are definitely first year students interested in that. So, it kind of all fell together at the right time,” Snyder said. “You won’t have to pay extra for that single room, and there are a lot of students that want a single room but can’t afford the extra rate, and I think that opens up an opportunity for them.”
There are plans in the works to reopen Boyd Hall as well, but nothing has yet been confirmed.
“We’re in the process of working on funding and exactly what the plan is going to be, but we’ve had architects in to look at the building,” Snyder said. “One of the one’s we’re looking at as a possibility is renovating it into suites because we find that students do like that semi-private bathroom. The same thing was done in Bonar many, many years ago.”
Apartment buildings, cabins and houses are also options for student housing, but they will remain as a privilege for upperclassmen.
“It’s kind of the benefit of living on-campus and being here as a next step, giving you something to look forward to after that first year,” Snyder said.
Photo credit: Daniel Morgan