College living has become more than community bathrooms and closet-size dorm rooms, especially for freshmen living in the apartment-style housing Temple has to offer.
Equipped with their own bathrooms, common areas and kitchen space, Temple Towers, Elmira Jefferies and the Edge are allowing freshmen more freedom and space than what once was the norm for college students.
“I feel like this isn’t the real college experience. You’re supposed to live in a closet,” Max Wojcik, an undecided freshman living in Temple Towers, said.
College students today are opting for suite and apartment style living in replace of the dormitory style, said Michael Scales, the director of University Housing and Residential Life and assistant vice-president for Student Affairs. As such, University Housing is always trying to meet the demands of the students.
“Quite honestly, upon surveying [the students], they want the suite and apartment style living,” Scales said.
This year, about 200 freshmen are living in Temple Towers while another 225 are at the Edge. The amount of freshmen at Elmira Jefferies is unknown, but the number is on the rise, Scales said.
Temple Towers, Elmira Jefferies and the Edge were each originally intended for upperclassmen. The increasing number of freshmen living in these three buildings brings into question whether inter-mingling first-year students and upper classmen could create problems. So far, no major issues have been brought to the housing director.
“With our upper classmen, they add a lot of maturity and sage to the residential experience and that’s good role modeling for freshmen,” Scales said.
Scales emphasized that the major difference between the apartment-style housing and the suites offered in 1300 and 1940 residence halls is the stovetop. Even though this accommodation is available to the students, the majority of residents still have meal plans.
When it comes to issues that freshmen face living in apartment-style housing, Scales said they fall into the same categories as other students living with their peers for the first time, such as adjusting to college and homesickness.
Some freshmen students admit that they sometimes have trouble meeting people within their building.
“I don’t know any of the people that live on my wing,” said Fallon Williams, a freshman criminal justice major living in Elmira Jefferies. “We just go about our business.”
Matt Rodriquez, an undecided freshman who lives at the Edge, said he feels the same way.
“Our halls are really anti-social. You meet more people at the dorms [than at the Edge],” he said.
Temple Housing attempts to combat these issues by focusing a lot of their attention on incoming freshmen.
“Freshmen are the most vulnerable and in need of capitalizing on the services and accessing the resources that university housing supplies,” Scales said.
There are other students, though, that feel living in an apartment doesn’t inhibit them from meeting other students.
“If you want to meet new people, you will meet them no matter where you are,” Christina Boschetti, a freshman living in the Edge and majoring in kinesiology, said.
Boschetti started out at 1940 in a social lounge converted into a room for four students. The room was not up to city codes, but her parents complained until she was asked to relocate to the Edge. She now lives with one roommate and said she prefers the Edge over 1940.
As for the placement of freshmen in years to come, University Housing plans to continue to follow national trends and survey the students to find out what they want. They work directly with enrollment management and plan accordingly each year, Scales said.
Any plans of creating additional housing, as of yet, is unknown, but University Housing is always being contacted and asked questions on the matter.
“I hope that people understand at the end of the day this is a business enterprise,” Scales said. “It’s not in the university’s best interest to have buildings that are empty.”
Amanda Fries can be reached at email@example.com.