Connect with Us


Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter

Pre-Housing Selection, Emmanuel Still Unsure about Julie Hall’s Future

As stated in the recent email from Residence Life and Housing, “If you haven’t started thinking about housing for next year, now’s the time.”

On March 3, The Hub organized a Housing Selection and Inventory Forum with the Department of Residence Life and Housing and the Office of the Treasurer. With this, The Hub hoped students could finally ask their questions in regards to the Julie Hall project, as well as what to expect as far as housing selection for the upcoming year.

“We have to look at what makes the most sense for our inventory,” begins Susan K. Benzie, Director of Residence Life and Housing. Construction on Julie is supposed to begin this May, but funding could potentially put it off for a year.

Sr. Anne Mary Donovan, Emmanuel College Treasurer, says, “We are going to assume it’s happening. We will know by April 30, however, there is no guarantee.”

Regardless, she adds, “We are planning aggressively to not have Julie Hall.”

The forum begins with a briefing of the overall project. Essentially, Emmanuel hopes to encourage more students to live on campus with the increase of apartment-style dorms–much like the suites in Julie now.

Despite receiving approval to start construction in May, Emmanuel is still trying to figure out the best way to pay for the project. “The initial cost came in way over what anyone could even begin to pay for,” Sr. Anne admits.

“The college is trying to make as good use as they can of very expensive land.” The building is now going to be 18 floors–rather than the original 19–in order to save money.

The 18th floor will be a common room accessible to students, as well as a party room for trustees.

With the Julie Hall floor plans reviewed, Benzie takes the floor to discuss the housing selection process, emphasizing that it will run just as it always has. Selection is organized by lottery numbers, generated by a computer. Students are given numbers based on credits and seniority, not academic standing.

St. Joes’s, Notre Dame, Trilogy, City View, Julie Hall, and St. Ann’s are the current inventory available. This, of course, may change depending on whether or not construction on Julie takes place. This would mainly impact groups of five for the suites because places like Trilogy only take groups of four.

Regardless, Housing Selection will move forward with the anticipation that Julie will not be taken down this summer.

Students are then given the floor to ask questions.

Ian Chamenko ’17 starts the conversation: “How flexible is the gender policy for housing?” Moving forward with new arrangements, will the gender policy change at all? He wonders, “Is that a conversation that could happen?” Benzie replies that it has not been discussed, but the possibility for a discussion could be addressed later if a student desired. Right now, the gender policy remains the same. Boys must live with boys, and girls must live with girls.

Another student raises her hand: “This is for triples or five-person housing. If Julie Hall is unavailable and a group of three or five has already formed, would space be found?”

“We are trying to figure out inventory before making decisions about specific rooms,” Benzie answers. Students should know before housing selection takes place, as to whether Julie will happen or not. Sr. Anne makes a point that we should assume that it is happening. It will be known for certain by April 30.

Dr. Patricia A. Rissmeyer, VP of Student Affairs, chimes in to ask students a question: “What’s attractive about five-person housing?”

Looking forward, Emmanuel wants to see what type of living interests students the most. Students respond that sometimes five just works–allowing one person to have a single room, but live with their friends at the same time.

Another student inquires about where Emmanuel is looking for possible satellite campuses during construction, “What specific distance or perimeter have you set?”

Benzie stresses, “We are trying to make a community with the space.” In other words, distance is definitely taken into consideration. Emmanuel wants students to have a community wherever they go. This community will most likely be made in the vicinity of the Colleges of the Fenway.

More questions come in regarding pricing of rooms on satellite campuses, how meal plans may change, and issues of transportation via the shuttle. After all, this is housing not just for this year, but the next two years.

Dr. Rissmeyer says that doubles should be about the same price as they are now. Places like Trilogy and City View usually cost more, much like the suites. Suites in Julie are, however, the most expensive anyway.

Meal plans will stay the same. Students in satellite campuses have never been required to have a full meal plan. They may get the standard 15 meals a week, 8 meals, 5 meals, or none at all. It is up to the student to decide what is best for his/her lifestyle.

As far as transportation, many students have expressed great concern or just confusion over the shuttle service. Benzie says that the Department of Residence Life and Housing does not oversee this. Campus Safety is in charge of the shuttle operations. Concerns and questions should be directed towards Jack Kelly, Director of Campus Safety.

A students asks, “What kind of implications will be made during construction?” There will be a construction fence around the Julie Hall area. Most of the loud construction will be done during the summer. Students and staff can relax knowing that this construction will sound nothing like what is heard down the street at the Pierce building. The new Julie Hall will be concrete.

Benzie finishes by saying, “Ultimately, the goal is for students to walk into housing selection knowing what is available.”

If students have further questions, they are encouraged to email Susan Benzie at or anyone in Residence Life and Housing at For information regarding the project, please contact the Office of the Treasurer.

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

Posted by on March 13, 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.