by Nell Scribner
The sea of yellow and blue balloons blanketing Emmanuel College’s campus one recent Sunday, for the first of the college’s two Accepted Student Days of 2012, foreshadows how packed college will be next year.
The college’s growing undergraduate population is expected to increase from 1,750 to 2,200 in the next ten years, with 75 percent of students living on campus, Vice President of Emmanuel’s government and community relations, Sarah Welsh, told the Boston Globe in June 2011.
Currently, the campus’ small-gated community only offers four dorm buildings for residents. The largest of which has six floors.
“Living on campus can feel suffocating,” said Lauren Foley ’13.
Like other upperclassmen, Foley has reaped a so-called benefit of Emmanuel’s growing population. This year the college offered off-campus apartments for the first time at CityView apartments on St Alphonsus Street in Mission Hill.
“Students have pretty high standards of where…and how they want to live,” Welsh told the Boston Globe.
Understandably so. Freshmen are often burdened with living in forced economy triples. Last year, Resident Assistant Noah Doyle-Smith ’13, had sixteen economy triples on his floor in the building of Loretto Hall.
“Everything else drives how many economy triples we need to have,” said John Byrne, Associate Director of Residence Life and Housing. “The decisions we make are going to affect everyone.”
Residence life and housing is working hard to keep CityView in the picture and their students happy.
“If everything works out well, hopefully we’ll go back there” said John Byrne. In addition, further off campus housing will definitely be offered at Rogers Hall next year, located on the campus of Wentworth on Huntington Ave.
The college stresses that their so-called “satellite housing” are not just at locations that they find upon convenience but are in areas that are suitable and accommodate their students.
The off-campus apartments provide exceptional living arrangements, complete with a kitchen, living room and bathroom.
“CityView allows me to feel like I have more freedom and am not stuck in one spot,” said Foley. “Since they offer more space…it’s easier to live with other people because you don’t feel like you’re stuck in one room.”
In terms of the college’s plans for possible renovation of their on-campus dorm buildings, Byrne comments that the students know just as much as he does.
Last fall the college released a draft of an Institutional Master Plan to expand the campus between now and 2021 that is available on the Internet.
This plan includes the expansion of the Cardinal Cushing Library to a proposed height of six stories, providing additional areas of study and classrooms. Additionally, Emmanuel hopes to expand the Julie Hall residence building to create “Julie Hall North.” This building will provide the campus with a larger fitness center, a dance studio and additional residence dorms.
Emmanuel has high expectations for change that we clearly will not see for another decade.
“The economy triples won’t be going away anytime soon,” said Byrne.