Dorms make way for upperclassmen communities

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Heritage Halls and Wyview have long been seen as housing for freshmen, but the two on-campus housing developments are setting aside certain buildings just for upperclassmen for the coming Fall and Winter semesters.

So far, the action has garnered positive responses.

Ruth May Fox Hall in Heritage Halls is one of the buildings which will be reserved for upperclassmen in the fall.

“Traditionally we have between 120 and 150 upperclassmen choose to live in on-campus housing each year,” Todd Fischio, assistant director of the Office of Residence Life, said. “We have seen a favorable response as more options have been made available to upperclassmen. As of today (Feb. 13) we have over 200 students who have contracted to return to on-campus housing.”

Fischio said the buildings reserved for upperclassmen are Louie B. Felt Hall, Ruth May Fox Hall, and Estella Spilsbury Harris Hall in Heritage Halls and buildings 1 through 5 in Wyview Park.

To promote the upperclassmen housing opportunities, Fischio said students currently living on campus have been invited to return and students who have lived on campus in the past, as well as current missionaries, have been notified through messages in their housing accounts. BYU Housing also participated in the off-campus housing fair to let students know about the opportunity.

The mission age change has made it possible to offer this upperclassman housing on campus.

“The past few years we have not been able to accommodate more than a few older students, as the incoming freshman class was large,” Fischio said. “We are excited the change in missionary age will provide some flexibility in who we are able to offer housing to this fall.”

More upperclassmen are expected to respond as fall approaches. On-campus housing has several characteristics that upperclassmen may find favorable.

“Students have found on-campus housing to be conveniently located to the academic part of campus,” Fischio said. “Maintenance issues are addressed in a timely manner. As on-campus housing areas accommodate only full-time enrolled BYU students, the contracts are designed to meet their specific needs. For example, students who leave school to serve a mission and those who get married are able to terminate their agreement after providing documentation of their change in status.”

Building 1 is one of five buildings in Wyview Park that is being offered to upperclassmen.

Information about ward boundaries is still up in the air.

“We are aware that our upperclassmen prefer to be in ‘upperclassmen’ wards,” Fischio said.

However, BYU Housing doesn’t know ward boundaries yet and is not certain there will be wards entirely made up of upperclassmen.

Rosie Liddle, a sophomore from Orem, said she is considering living on campus because the friends she would want to live with are going on missions, and she wants to start fresh with a new roommate. She said on-campus housing is nice and she likes the setup of the apartments.

“It simplifies the housing search,” Liddle said. “You know what you are getting, and the location is very convenient for students.”

Rachel Eggett, a freshman from Orem, is living in Heritage Halls this year. She said sharing Heritage Halls with upperclassmen could be beneficial to freshmen.

“I think it would be good. I go to my RA all the time,” Eggett said.

Emily Moore, from Franklin, Va., is a freshman living in Heritage Halls. She said she doesn’t think having upperclassmen living in Heritage will change dynamics too much.

“I think people end up having fun with whoever they are with,” Moore said. “Especially if the upperclassmen are in different buildings, people will probably hang out with those who are the same age.”

However, Moore said it really depends on how integrated the upperclassmen become and that it might be nice to have them nearby because they know more about campus and classes than do freshmen.

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