BREAKING: University to close North campus residence halls for Fall 2022 semester
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story will be updated with more information as it becomes available
In an email to students this morning, the Central Michigan University Office of Residence Life announced the university will be temporarily closing the North campus residential community (Larzelere, Robinson, Calkins and Trout Halls), effective Fall 2022.
The decision, according to the email sent by Executive Director of Student Affairs Kathleen Gardner, was made based on enrollment estimates for next semester. She said the Fall 2022 semester will likely see the same enrollment as the current spring semester.
CMU will have more available housing than residential students therefore "by consolidating folks on the south end of campus, we can amplify our service to students," Gardner said.
"There are going to be more students in the halls and more opportunities to make connections and to build that community," she said.
Meanwhile, the Washington Commons project was approved for its design phase at the most recent Board of Trustees meeting - a new residential community along Washington Street that will replace Lot 22 and include the demolition of Kewadin Village and Northwest Apartments within the next two years.
Associate director of executive communications, Ari Harris said the temporary North campus closure and the building of the Washington Commons are intended for "different audiences."
"Washington Commons does not have the same kinds of rooms that are in North (campus)," Harris said. "They are specifically intended to be the kind of rooms that are disappearing when Kewadin and Northwest come down."
Gardner said student feedback from paraprofessionals as well as through social media showed students living on campus want to be in closer proximity to one another.
In her email, Gardner acknowledged the impact the change will have on students currently signed up for north campus residence halls. She said Residence Life is available for support.
"We really try to interact (with) students individually because each one of their situations is unique and important to them," she said.
The following information was included in Gardner's email:
- Students who selected a single room in Robinson Hall will be moved to the top four floors of Wheeler Hall. Students will still have the same full-size bed, sofa, and coffee table advertised for Robinson, and they will have a common space, bedroom, and bathroom in their living unit. In addition, the Towers offers a fitness room.
- Honors Program Residential Community in Larzelere Hall will move to Thorpe Hall. Thorpe Hall offers the same room style as Larzelere Hall. Using their current roommate groups, the Office of Residence Life will reassign all students who selected Larzelere for fall 2022.
- Business Residential College (BRC) in Trout Hall will be moved to Beddow Hall. Beddow Hall offers the same room style as Trout Hall. Using their current roommate groups, the Office of Residence Life will reassign all BRC students for fall 2022. If you have not yet signed up to return to the BRC, please contact Kristen Kendrick at email@example.com.
- Leader Advancement Scholars in Calkins Hall will be moved to Merrill Hall. Merrill Hall offers the same room style as Calkins Hall. Using their current roommate groups, the Office of Residence Life will reassign all LAS students for fall 2022.
- All other residents who selected a room in North for fall 2022 will be reassigned to other residential communities. North residents will receive a confirmation email with their new room assignment by 5 p.m. on April 18, 2022.
- Kulhavi Hall will open for the first time to first-year students in fall 2022.
Gardner said relocations were made based on amenities offered, cost of living and balancing one learning community per building.
"We wanted to make sure that we were providing the same or similar experience," Gardner said. "It's looking at all of the available space, and we're trying to put folks into the same housing format."
She said the reassigned halls will have the same cost as a room students previously signed up for in North campus.
Improving Dining Hall Functionality
Gardner said the temporary closure will reopen and expand the hours of operation in some campus dining halls.
"There were frustrations with dining when we took South offline for this year so again this decision was also about addressing previous feedback and trying to improve what we do," Gardner said.
Closing the North Community and reallocating dining staff to other communities will improve the level of service offered in the following dining units:
- Continuous service at the Eatery, Dine & Connect, and Social House (no more closures between 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.).
- The Eatery and Dine & Connect will be open on Saturday and Sunday.
- Social House will be open for lunch and dinner, Monday – Friday.
- Late Night at Social House will continue, Monday – Thursday.
How many students will be assigned to the standard rooms?
All standard hall two-bedroom suites will have four students. This means two students will be in the A rooms and two students in the B rooms. De-densification (or housing fewer students in each standard room) was a best practice used during the peak of COVID-19 when the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended physical distancing and reduced density.
She said residents were spread out over the past two years but "we're back to operations that were similar to pre-COVID."
If students want to change their housing assignment for Fall 2022 due to this change, they must submit a request on CMU Residence Life Wishlist website. Residence Life will contact students by phone.
Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Residence Life for assistance via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 989-774-3111.