By Ethan Smith, News Editor
As many of you already know, the west end of Windward Commons closed down for this semester. The reasoning behind the closing of the west end of Windward has been up in the air, but man have speculated it is due to low enrollment. I got the chance to contact the Director of Residence Life, Nick Shrader, and ask him some questions about the current state of Windward Commons.
Are any incoming students staying in west wing? With that side of the building being closed, will those students be moved to new room assignments?
Based on our assignment process and numbers of freshmen requesting to live on campus there is not a need at this time to occupy the west side of the building. By keeping them together and not separating them by wings, this also allows residents to build a stronger community in Winward. In this way we will focus more resources and services in order to ensure they have a great experience.
How will Resident Assistants be affected by the closed wing? Will they have more tasks or will their individual and team duties change?
The building is not closed. Only one wing is not being used. RA roles have shifted to also include supporting University Housing in other areas such as more administrative duties and assisting in supporting duty coverage for campus. We have even added staffing in the form of graduate students to better support the student residential experience.
What does the enrollment for incoming students look like in terms of staying on-campus in Windward or commuting as an off-campus student?
A large number of our first-year students this year are from the surrounding Savannah area. If you live within a 30-mile radius those students are not required to live on campus. They still have to file for an exemption. National research shows that students who live on campus have higher levels of satisfaction and connection with their college experience and do better academically. We hope more students choose to live on campus because of the friendships they will make as well. Students haven’t fully experience college life until they have lived on a college campus.