To the Apartments! Or Not...

Second semester is eventful for a few reasons: end of the year finals, registration for the following year, and room draw. As a soon-to-be senior, I understand that room and apartment draw is especially important for current juniors. After all, the last thing any student wants is an undesirable home for their final year. Thus, a few weeks ago, when Heggblade was bustling with CMC juniors eager to get applications for the senior apartments, I started hearing various conversations about senior housing—who was going to live where, with whom, etc.senior-apartments2 I quickly found out that many students were choosing to live in singles or opt out of CMC on-campus housing altogether. I was the most surprised when I came to the conclusion that I wanted to live in a single rather than a senior apartment. It made me think: are the senior apartments losing their appeal? Is there a new trend in senior housing? My curiosity led me to Ethan Andyshak, Director of Residential Life. Ethan informed me that last year after the apartments, singles in Claremont Hall, Fawcett, and Auen were the most popular housing choices for seniors. To my surprise, though, Ethan informed me that the last few years have seen a small drop-off in the number of students choosing to live off-campus. Still curious, I spoke with Jim Nauls, Assistant Dean of Students and author of the highly anticipated senior apartment emails. According to Jim, out of the 43 groups that applied for four-person apartments this year, nine of these groups (about 21%) were turned down. Last year, however, everyone that applied for a senior apartment got one. Therefore, contrary to my belief that senior apartments were becoming less popular, apartment draw was actually more competitive this time around. Why is that? Jim suggests that the grand opening of Claremont Hall last fall was an incentive for Class of 2009 seniors to grab brand new singles. This year’s resurgent interest in the senior apartments might be because the novelty of Claremont Hall is wearing off... already. What does Jim have to say about senior housing for the Class of 2011? Their larger class size is going to make everything more competitive. They get to look forward to a tough apartment draw and scrounging for most desirable singles--sorry sophomores.

Nonetheless, a good number of students will always live in the apartments, so here is some insight from current seniors…

Interview with Greg Hall, Class of 2009 Why did you choose to live in the apartments? Originally, I chose to live in the apartments because I wanted to live in a house with my close friends. Living together in the apartments was something that we had talked about since we were freshman; fulfilling our dream of sharing the same living quarters for a glorious final year seemed to fulfill manifest destiny. Later, I came appreciate the apartments as a sort of petri-dish of the senior class where classmates from north, mid, and south quads all converge to form one Utopian Community.

Would you advise being on the meal plan as a senior? If you are not into cooking I would advise remaining on the meal plan (even if it's only the 8 or 12 meal plan). Many seniors that remove themselves from the meal plan seem to only venture onto campus to go to class or work on thesis in Poppa. Deciding to remain on the meal plan allowed me to have meals with my underclassman friends while forcing me to remain on campus between classes (rather than walking all the way back to my apartment and staying there).

Interview with Camilo Cuellar, Class of 2009 Why did you choose to live in a dorm single rather than in a senior apartment? I chose to live in a dorm single because I wanted to live closer to all of the amenities available on campus. Also, the fact that Auen had been renovated was also an attractive feature. Also, after living in North Quad through sweltering hot nights, air-conditioning sounded appealing.

Did the proximity to campus sway you? The proximity to campus was definitely a huge factor as I wanted to be close to dining halls, and more importantly, the computer labs.

Do you feel isolated from the rest of the senior class? I do not feel that I have been isolated from the rest of the senior class as I still spend time with all of my close friends and have made new friends.