Shawn Olstein ’22
A Housing Renovation Committee has been established to develop an action plan to renovate student residence spaces across campus. The Committee is comprised of student affairs, facilities, and student representatives. The proposed Committee ideas, among others, have included a renovation of North, which would offer housing for upperclassmen, while Cook and Goodwin would be converted to housing for first years.
The Tripod spoke with Residential Learning Coordinator and Trinsition Fellow Maria Dyane, who indicated that the Committee particularly wants to “house our first year cohort together and renovate other student residences to meet the wants and needs of upper year students, as well as making infrastructure improvements (heating/cooling, lighting, etc.) in student residences.” Committee members Dyane and Residential Learning Coordinator and Trinsition Fellow Shelia Njau have proposed several ideas and have sought feedback before the start of the semester, particularly on a plan to renovate North and market the dormitory to upperclassmen.
Dyane indicated that the proposal would entail “first years moving into Funston, making Funston first year only housing. Additionally, Cook and Goodwin would become first year housing, while upperclassmen would be incentivized to move into North.” The Committee has also considered ideas including a “free meal plan, reduced housing cost, improved study spaces, and changes to the lottery system.”
While the proposal has not been finalized, Dyane and Njau have indicated that “it is unlikely that the single room double layout will change.” It remains unclear when the Committee will vote on the final proposal or when the final proposal might receive budgetary approval for the future renovation of North or the repurposing of other dormitories on Trinity’s campus.
The Committee has indicated that it seeks to achieve three main objectives in its deliberations: building and maintaining a positive community, creating safe, clean, and comfortable living spaces, and making the College’s residential buildings and communities desirable living spaces to current and prospective students. Dyane also indicated to the Tripod that the Committee has been actively exploring outdoor spaces and interior common areas “such as corridors, kitchens, bathrooms, lobbies, and laundry rooms with comfortable and functional furniture.”
A member of the Housing Renovation Committee, Nancy Saad ’22, also spoke with the Tripod and added that “we’re basically just trying to see ways to improve residential life on campus, this ranges from rearranging where students live to renovating common spaces, bathrooms, and even the way buildings look to create a better environment for students to live in.” Saad explained that part of her role in the Committee is to provide her thoughts on how students may be affected positively or negatively depending on the changes that are made. Saad also noted that she can offer valuable input on how other students will perceive the changes.
While the scope of the changes the Committee hopes to make have not yet been determined, Saad indicated that the Committee has engaged in “frequent conversations with architects from the Little Diversified Architectural Consulting firm to discuss ideas and feasibility, what budget would be required, and if the new plans are attainable for the college going forward.”