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Questions, Questions, Questions: Julie Hall Finally Addressed at SGA Meeting

This past Tuesday, February 16, Sister Anne Donovan, Emmanuel College Treasurer, was invited to speak at the weekly SGA Meeting in regards to the future reconstruction of Julie Hall.

She was scheduled to speak from 12:30 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., but there was some concern when she was not present at the beginning of the meeting.

At 12:30 p.m. on the dot, however, Sr. Anne entered the room.

Project Manager, Courtney Anne Howard stood by her side as she presented some images of the Julie Hall blueprints. Susan K. Benzie, Director of Residence Life and Housing, sat patiently in the audience, ready to answer the overwhelming amount of questions about housing selection.

Previously, the Hub conducted a survey to gather an understanding of the overall student body’s feelings towards the Julie Hall project. For the most part, students expressed curiosity. Emmanuel had not formally announced the project to students though. Because of this, students only knew what they had heard from rumors and various news sites.

A graduate of Emmanuel College, Sr. Anne says, “I know what it’s like to not know what’s happening in the residence halls.” She points to the image of the new Julie Hall, “Emmanuel is going to be far better known. The building will increase the visibility and value of your degree.”

The Boston Redevelopment Authority has approved the project, but the next step is figuring out funding. This is why, Sr. Anne explains, Emmanuel has not been able to say much about the project. Tuition, along with Room and Board, will not cover the project’s costs. Emmanuel has to make sure the building can pay for itself.

 

According to schedule, Emmanuel must figure out funding before April if they intend to begin the project this May.

The new building will contain 691 beds, but 230 of these will be leased to a “sister institution.” Confidentiality agreements, however, prevent Emmanuel from disclosing who this may be.

Despite all, Benzie assures students that housing selection will continue as it always has. There are a lot of other options out there besides Trilogy.

Kailee Thomas ’16 asks, “Would Tuition and Room and Board be increased? If so, do you how much?” Sr. Anne replies that there is typically a 2-2.5% increase of tuition every year, regardless.

Sr. Anne realizes that most students came to the meeting hoping to find answers, but she asks for patience still at this time.

An email is reportedly going to be sent this week to update students on the situation and hopefully, give a time frame of what to expect as far as housing selection.

She adds, “If we don’t get financing at a reasonable rate, Julie Hall will have to stay for another year.” As far as looking for housing, “We will work with you to try to help you with anything we can.”

Another students inquires about Saint Joe’s Hall and the possibility of economy triples there. In addition to this, will the bathrooms ever be updated in Joe’s, as they were in Loretto and Saint Ann’s?

According to regulations, Benzie says, “Economy triples are not a possibility in Joe’s.” As far as more bathroom updates, Sr. Anne responds, “We would like to. Not now though.”

Next, a student asks about the noise levels, something many other students expressed concern about through the survey.

“Where should a person go for medical questions? I have chronic migraines. The noise would be too much.”

This questions was met with lots of mumbles and confusion, but no definitive answer. The attention was simply moved to the next question.

With more concerns about housing selection brought to the surface, Benzie readdresses the room, “As long as you complete the housing lease and deposit, we WILL find you housing.”

That being said, Benzie continues, “Emmanuel has done a lot of satellite housing over time.” In other words, this is not a new concept.

Another student raises a question, “Will prices be comparable? Satellite housing can cost much more.” Sr. Anne admits, “Prices like Trilogy can cost a bit more.” Beyond Trilogy and CityView, she suggests Notre Dame as another option with space available for students.

After speaking about Julie for about 30 minutes, Sr. Anne says her office, ADMIN 248, is always open. Benzie also encourages students to reach out to the Residence Life and Housing office, as far as any other questions or concerns on the matter.

For those who could not make the meeting or are interested in learning more, there is a forum in the works.

Please fill out the poll below for the time that works best for you:

 

Would another time work better for your schedule? Comment below with your recommendations.

Stay tuned for more details from the Hub on when/where the forum will take place.

Heather Alterisio ’17 is a Staff Writer for the Hub. She can be contacted at alterisioh@emmanuel.edu or on Twitter @HeathAlt.

Posted by on February 18, 2016. Filed under Around Campus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.