The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Sophomore housing slated for 2014

SMU plans to augment an on-campus housing requirement for sophomores by building the Residential Commons as early as fall of 2014.

The Residential Commons complex will include five residential buildings and a dining hall.

This new housing will satisfy the housing requirement for first- and second-year students, as well as work to facilitate more community interaction.

The class of 2017 will be the first class at SMU to live both years on campus.

Construction will begin in early 2012, and is expected to open in fall 2014. The complex will house 1,250 students with residential space, classrooms, “seminar space” and faculty accommodations.

Executive Director of Housing Steve Logan explained the rationale behind implementing mandatory on-campus housing for freshmen and sophomores.

Logan illustrates two points behind the two-year on-campus housing requirement: to better the overall “retention of students”, and to strengthen SMU’s “academic reputation.”

“The stronger [a university’s] reputation], the stronger your degree is when you leave SMU…We as university are committed to students getting the best overall quality experience,” said Logan.

Logan also wished to correct the terminology “sophomore housing.”

“The Residential Commons complex will meet the sophomore housing requirement, but will also house students from all four years,” Logan explained.

Many students are in favor of increasing the housing requirement, especially current sophomores.

Rising sophomore Lauren Wells, who did not make the housing lottery, is “still in the process of finding housing and crossing [her] fingers [that she] gets a room on campus.”

Similarly, mechanical engineering student Ayush Agrawal was also waitlisted for housing.

As an international student, Agrawal explains, “it’s kind of difficult for me to get an apartment and live off campus.”

“Transportation would be an issue if I could not live on campus … living on campus usually creates [a] better study environment too,” remarked political science major Mary Elizabeth Castle.

Conversely, many students are against this new requirement.

Premedical student Katie Krenek and Martha Pool, the Student Body Secretary, would not want to be required to live on housing for another year.

“I would absolutely not like to live on campus again,” said Krenek. Pool expressed similar sentiments.

Funding for the construction is budgeted through donations and the university’s bond process of all buildings. Student room rates will go towards the maintenance, staffing, upkeep and programming of the complex.

SMU Alumni Elisabeth Martin Armstrong and William D. Armstrong from Denver, Colo. donated the lead gift of $5 million.

The Residential Commons will be located north of Mockingbird Lane across from the SMU bookstore on the main campus.

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