This coming weekend, a quarter of the world’s population will celebrate the Year of the Rat—the first animal of the Chinese zodiac, representing wisdom and compassion—with feasts, gift-giving and good wishes. Lunar New Year, the longest and among the most…
Syracuse University to Review Student Housing to Better Support Student Experience
Guided by student input, throughout the 2019-20 academic year, Syracuse University will conduct a holistic review of its student housing to better understand residential options and determine future needs in support of enriching the student experience. Representatives from the Division of Business, Finance and Administrative Services (BFAS) and the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience (ESE) will assess the University’s existing housing portfolio to gauge how its residential spaces align with the University’s vision, mission and priorities. Academic Affairs will also be engaged in the review.
Amir Rahnamay-Azar, senior vice president for business, finance and administrative services and chief financial officer, says examining existing housing options and determining future needs is a critical component of the University’s focus on the student experience as outlined in the Academic Strategic Plan and Campus Framework. Among its goals, the Campus Framework seeks to enrich student life, including through the creation of a holistic residential experience. One initiative highlighted in the framework is the relocation and expansion of undergraduate housing from South Campus to North Campus.
“A successful student experience integrates all aspects of student life, including social, communal and intellectual pursuits,” says Rahnamay-Azar. “We are undertaking this review to see where we can improve our residence life facilities and better support the student experience.”
The University operates 18 residence halls on North Campus, along with the Skyhall complex on South Campus. Nearly 5,900 students reside in the halls, which range in size from the 40-person Oren Lyons Hall to the sprawling Brewster, Boland, Brockway complex, which houses 730 students. Among the existing halls, Washington Arms was the first to be occupied in 1946, and Ernie Davis Hall was most recently inaugurated in 2009.
“Our housing facilities, and the programs and staff within them, have an incredible impact on the student experience. The living and learning environment in the residence halls provides students with a sense of place and opportunities to build community, important factors to students’ success in and out of the classroom,” says Dolan Evanovich, senior vice president for enrollment and the student experience.
The review will include an evaluation of the quantity, quality and assortment of student housing options, as well as their relative fit for meeting the goals of student retention and success. Reviewers will also assess the number of beds, variety of room types and available amenities. Additionally, the University will focus on programing and services that are, or could be, offered within its residence halls. The analysis will allow for a well-rounded understanding of the benefits of a variety of housing-related options, including new construction by the University and/or further renovation to existing facilities. Once the review is concluded, BFAS and ESE leaders will update the campus community on their findings, which will include recommendations for future actions.