(Originally posted on The Sojourn’s website on December 1, 2016)
Beginning next fall, Beckett East, South East and Martin East will no longer be freshmen-only halls.
According to Matt Thompson, dean for Residential Learning, the buildings will now be a fully comprehensive model, which means a building that houses all students, freshmen through seniors. These residence halls will now be set up exactly like Carmin, Evans, Hodson and Reed.
Over the last several years, the mentoring program in Beckett and South halls have changed, according to Thompson. The changes include no longer having someone working full-time on the program and having the program an option for incoming freshmen living in those halls, instead of mandatory.
The reason for changing this is so all students of every age can share life together, Thompson said.
“We believe in the benefits of informal mentoring and support that comes from students at every stage of their college experience,” Thompson said. “We think that our sophomores, juniors and seniors have a lot they can teach our freshmen students and that happens easiest and more naturally when they’re living together.”
Thompson said making all of the dorms a fully comprehensive model will also help with a better continuity in the residential experience. This now prevents students from having to move out of the hall after their freshmen year and having the challenge of finding another residence hall community.
“We lose students as sophomores and we wonder how much that plays into it, if there’s not that continuity of community,” Thompson said. “And so this allows for a great number of people to stay and invest in that community over multiple years.”
Thompson said he wants students to know this decision was not taken lightly and was thought over for more than a year. He also said him and his team know something will be lost by not having a freshmen-only space.
“We don’t want to pretend like that was not a good experience or not beneficial or not an enjoyable experience,” Thompson said. “We know it was and we’re going to lose something … but we really feel like the things our community will gain with the change will outweigh some of that.”