Many first-year students plan their senior housing within their first semester of attending Albion. They cross their fingers for a chance to live in the Manor or the O-house and finally have the chance to live out of the dorms. For the 2013-14 school year, Albion’s residential life has made many housing cuts which have limited the options for senior living.
These cuts include eliminating 501 Michigan Annex, or ‘The Manor,” and the 711 Michigan Annex, known as the “Mannex.” Other changes include transforming the Munger Annex into the E-House and the 1112 Porter Street Annex, or the “Beach House,” into gender neutral housing.
Michael Wadsworth, director of residential life, discussed these various changes.
“Over this past year with some of the enrollment numbers going down, we’ve had a lot of spaces that were not filled across campus, especially in some of the senior level housing,” Wadsworth said. “The best decision was that if we were going to decrease some housing amounts, that we were going to do that in the areas of senior housing because we sill have plenty of senior housing available for the number of seniors expected for next year.”
Wadsworth reassures students that their needs will not be neglected.
“We try to let students know that every year we evaluate what our housing needs are, and something that was offered your first of second year may not be offered again or in a different capacity,” Wadsworth said. “I would love to provide every housing options that every student wants, but we have to responsibly manage our housing allotment with the number of students that we have.”
However, students still feel frustrated with the housing cuts.
“I feel like we’ve waited long enough to finally get out of dorm rooms, and then they take away most of the houses, forcing us to live in apartments that feel like dorm rooms,” said Miranda Voege, Carmel, Ind., junior.
Interestingly, after special housing applications are done, some of the annexes might be available again.
“If the Munger Annex or the 1112 Porter Annex fails to be filled as the E-House or gender neutral option, they will go back into the mix as regular annexes,” Wadsworth said.
Although there may be enough space for the seniors, it still seems as though students are angry about not having the many options that seniors have had in the past.
“We are not allowed to live off campus, and Albion is giving us more and more limited options for housing,” said Kylie Olszewski, Saginaw junior. “Seniors shouldn’t be forced to live in underclassman housing, especially since we’ve waited four years to be able to get into this better housing.”
Ask Wadsworth about how res life “responsibly manage[d] our housing allotment with the number of students that we [had]” for the 2009-2010 year when they claimed they could close down Seaton and upon realizing such an action would leave 200 students without housing, rushed to open it back up. Don’t worry, things will work out. Also, don’t be afraid to make personal appointments to express your concerns. Albion is a small college and if it wants to maintain its reputation of caring for individual students, the administration must be willing to hear voiced concerns.
My lottery number was so high I spent my senior year in White House. I was to be in an annex, but one room, that had two for years, was deemed to small and only for one. Since I was the last person pulled in, I was left out. Your college experience should not matter on your housing spot for senior year. It is your friends and your job connections that count. And I was disappointed NONE of my friends had a high enough lottery number for Fiske, because that is what we really wanted. To live there. I have not been scarred by my choice of senior housing.