Northwestern announces sophomore campus live-in requirement in long-term housing plan

Tyler Pager, Breaking News Editor

All freshmen and sophomores will be required to live in on-campus housing as part of Northwestern’s Master Housing Plan.

Administrators have not specified when the requirement will be instituted, but it will not be before new residence halls are constructed. Students can fulfill the requirement in Greek housing and residence halls.

“Freshmen and sophomores living on campus is probably a pretty good thing for a host of reasons,” said Paul Riel, executive director of Residential Services. “It gives people more sense of continuity of care and our sense of community that we want to develop.”

Riel and Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, assistant vice president for student auxiliary services presented the plan during an Associated Student Government Senate on Wednesday night.

“As we move through this process, we are giving Northwestern students not just what they need, but what they deserve,” Payne-Kirchmeier said. “When you live in campus housing, there are certain expectations that you have, and we don’t just want to meet them, we want to exceed them. And this plan will help us to do that.”

The plan, which has a projected completion date of 2025, focuses exclusively on undergraduate housing and aims to bring the total number of beds in residence halls to 4,252.

As part of the plan, Bobb Hall, McCulloch Hall and Sargent Hall will be demolished and five new residence halls will be constructed. Bobb and McCulloch are slated to be taken down in 2021 and Sargent Hall will be taken down in 2023.

The plan also calls for the full renovations of nine residence halls including Goodrich House, Foster-Walker Complex, Public Affairs Residential College, Shepard Residential College, Willard Residential College, 1835 Hinman, Jones Residential College, North Mid-Quads Hall and South Mid-Quads Hall.

The fate of East Fairchild, which houses the Communications Residential College, and West Fairchild, which houses the International Studies Residential College, is unclear. The buildings are identified as part of the Master Housing Plan. However, NU’s Evanston Campus Framework Plan indicates the two buildings will be academic space. But, Riel and Payne-Kirchmeier said the decisions about the buildings have not been finalized.

However, both Riel and Payne-Kirchmeier said they are committed to maintaining all residential colleges. They said when the physical buildings are being renovated, the residential college communities will be relocated together.

“There’s no plan for those communities to go away,” Payne-Kirchmeier said.

Additionally, all future residence halls will have suite-style living spaces, in which students will either live in single or double suites. Single suites will have four individual bedrooms and two bathrooms, whereas double suites would have two bedrooms with a shared bathroom.

“I’m particularly excited about the focus shifting away from standard ‘dormitory-style’ housing where it’s the long hallways and the two rooms on the side and a greater emphasis on apartment-style or more independence for sophomores and upperclassmen,” said Chris Harlow, ASG student life vice president.

The first component of the Master Housing Plan was the destruction of the buildings on Peanut Row, which occurred in 2013. The first new building, which is currently named 560 Lincoln, is still being designed. It is expected to be completed in 2016 or 2017.

The other new residences include two North Campus projects, one to replace Bobb and McCulloch and one to replace Sargent. There will also be a new residence hall near Chapin Hall and one near 1835 Hinman and Jones. However, the plans for these new buildings have not been developed yet.

“There’s still a lot of opportunities going forward for students to continue to give input,” Harlow said. “I think that will be crucial as we start to get down to the more intricate details.”

This article was updated on Oct. 15 at 11:28 p.m.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of beds the Master Housing Plan intends to add. The plan aims to bring the total number of beds in residence halls to 4,252.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @tylerpager