Housing questions anwered

By on April 15, 2009

“Don’t shoot the messengers.”

That was the plea from Cindy Long Porter, director of residential life, upon hearing students groan about York Hill transportation.

For weeks, the sophomore class has been worrying about its uncertain living situation next year. According to Porter, Hill didn’t fill up as quickly as Residential Life anticipated, and many sophomores looking to live in York Hill were confused about the dorms, food and transportation. On April 7 the sophomore class cabinet held an information session in Buckman Theater with members of residential life and transportation.

Along with Porter, Melissa Karapidis, associate director of residential life, and Ron Colavolpe, assistant chief for parking and transportation, made short presentations and then took questions from the student crowd of over 120.

York Hill is not set to be completed until the 2011-2012 academic year, with the student center estimated to be finished in January 2010.

This means that students must go to the Mount Carmel campus if they wish to utilize the cafeteria, Bobcat Den, or gym. Like Hill, students are required to have a meal plan of $500, which can be used at the campus eateries on the Mount Carmel campus as well as the North Haven campus.

“We would like to establish an eatery at York Hill, and we are trying to work with Chartwells to provide service,” Porter said.

For Health Science majors taking classes at the North Haven campus, there is a cafeteria, but as of now there is no transportation. However, there are enough parking spaces to accommodate every student.

Students residing at York Hill will be parking in the garage, and can drive on and off the Mount Carmel campus as they please.

However, the groans and murmurs came when students were informed that as of now there will be no shuttle service on the weekends at York Hill. The biggest issue that arose was what would be done with the Hilltop parking lot. Normally it would go to the juniors residing in Village and Hill. But with the rearranging of residencies for sophomores and juniors and the construction of York Hill, the transportation department is unsure that Hilltop will remain the way it has always been.

“There are three options,” Colavolpe said. “The first is that Hilltop will remain as is now, with priority going to the Hill juniors. The second option is to make it half Hill juniors and half commuter. The third option is to make Hilltop an all-commuter lot.

“Those are the ideas being tossed around, but the plan is to accommodate the students here first.”

Many of the decisions made were frowned upon by the students. All in all, students left with more information than they had coming in, although the administration stressed that no plans had been finalized. Whether or not they liked what they heard is another story.

“I was surprised by the turnout,” said SGA President-elect President Louis Venturelli. “The information session was very successful. It allowed for students to have direct interaction with the administration, and cutting out the middle man was very important.”

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