Sunday evening Florida Southern College students received an email from Bill Langston, dean of student development, detailing several changes to the current residential hall structure.
John Grundig, vice president of enrollment management, said that the new changes would help with overcrowding problems that occurred in the past.
“A couple of years ago we actually had to house students in the Holiday Inn hotel down the street,” Grundig said.
One of the changes is that Spivey, traditionally a residential hall for freshmen girls, will now be for freshmen boys.
“I think it’s kind of weird just because that was where I was freshman year,” Julia Necciai, a junior biology major, said.
Other changes include Hollis Hall getting new singles, homesteading is being allowed in Miller Hall, and Dell Hall is hosting the Second Year Experience instead of the Barnett Halls“I feel like the freshmen are going to start off with a really nice dorm and then they’re going to go over to Dell, which isn’t as nice,” Necciai said.
Jheryl Cabey, a freshman economics major, thinks that the changes will have a big impact on the current class of freshmen, next year’s sophomores.
“I think a lot of people that are in my class that live in Hollis will probably feel that it’s unfair that they didn’t get the opportunity to live in Wesley or Nicholas and that the younger people coming in next year will,” Cabey said.
The campus apartment-style living are also undergoing changes. FSC recently purchased Lake Hollingsworth Apartments.
“Ultimately we’re hoping to give students the opportunity to have multiple living environments, having those apartments,” Grundig said, “so that students are transitioning from first year students all the way to seniors, they’re having those opportunities to live in those apartments.”
The school also relaxed the requirements for students to apply to live in apartments, dropping the 60 credit hours and 3.25 GPA requirements. Now students only have to have a 2.75 GPA and four continuous semesters at FSC, as well as have good standing with the college, to qualify.
“I think that it’s okay that it’s gotten easier,” Necciai said. “I think the only thing that’s going to be hard is that a lot of students don’t have cars.”
The question of convenient parking is an ongoing one around campus. Grundig said that they would “assess the situation as things change.”
The new changes will go into effect in the semester of fall 2013. For some the changes represent an even playing field for students to get into resident halls.
“I think it’s good,” Cabey said. “I think that it’s good that they’re kind of redistributing everything. It’s a lot fairer.”
Not everyone agrees with Cabey. Samantha Sitzer, an FSC student, started up a petition on Change.org titled “Florida Southern College: Repeal the new policy being put into place with student housing and age.” As of Nov. 13 it had 177 signatures.
“I recognize that initially there may be some resistance to change, because change is scary,” Langston said, “There are some unknowns to it. But at the same time I think that, ultimately, once we have a chance to transition through this and we can see some of the positive pieces that will come out of it, I think that we’ll, hopefully, gain additional student support.”
Langston cited the building of the Barnett Halls as an example of a time when students were unhappy with housing changes. A building that housed sororities was torn down to make room for the dorms, moving the sororities to the Publix Commons, an area now known by another name: The Greek Village.
“And now, just a short number of years later, it really has become a part of the campus culture that the Greek Village has worked very well and very seamlessly,” Langston said.
Another one of the new changes is that students applying to live in housing not owned by the campus must be 23 years old or older, bumping the age up from 21 or older, unless they qualify as commuter students or are married. The 96 semester hour requirement has been removed.
Grundig and Langston emphasized that students already living off campus would be allowed to stay off campus for the next year. Langston said that he would answer any questions students had.
“Right now I’m trying, to the best of my ability, to make myself available to students who might have questions,” Langston said. “…but we will look at some point in the near future for a forum where students can ask questions and go through that process to get clarification.”