Clare Hall to become freshmen-only residence

Thursday, March 6, 2014 6:35:00 PM

Following the successful implementation of a first-year residency requirement for traditional students, Clare Hall will become a freshmen-only residence hall beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year.

Recent survey data suggests that a heightened sense of community can be found within Clare Hall, an atmosphere that freshman resident students can best benefit from.

Clare Hall Lobby

The 2013-2014 Mid-Year Student Assessment surveyed this year’s freshmen class on a variety of subjects including safety and security on campus, interaction with other students, and a sense of belonging to the University community.

When filtering this data based on residence, it was discovered that students living in Clare Hall report higher satisfaction in their interaction with other students and sense of belonging to the community.

The shift of Clare Hall to a freshmen facility is subsequently tied to two of the University’s strategic initiatives as identified through Visioning and Planning: increase enrollment and retention, and improve resident and student life to provide a vibrant overall campus and student experience.

“It was a data-driven decision,” said Matt Goodwin, director of student experience at Stritch. “The decision was made after we considered ways in which we can continue to build a sense of community on campus, and how to we can increase campus vibrancy.”

Sophomores, juniors and seniors are offered the additional options of moving to Assisi Hall, nearby Coventry Apartments, where groups of Stritch upperclassmen reside, or living entirely off campus. At present, about 90 students live in Assisi Hall and 60 upperclassmen live in Coventry Apartments.

“We are hopeful of course that after experiencing their freshman year as residents in our community that they will choose to remain,” Goodwin said.

Clare Hall -- The Den

The spring and summer months will also bring a variety of other enhancements to Clare Hall. First, the Den, a student-run snack bar and social gathering place on the second floor, will receive a facelift including fresh paint and new furniture. Clare Hall’s first floor lounge will also be renovated.

“These enhancements are important and worth investing in,” Goodwin said. “We care about our students’ experiences, and we want them to know that we value them as members of our community.”

The new freshmen residency requirement has been well-received overall, Goodwin said. The policy is similar to those in place at many other colleges and universities, and it has also helped build a greater sense of community amongst students.

The policy requires all first-time, full-time new students and transfer students who have been out of high school for less than a year to live in one of the residence halls for their first year of enrollment. Students who are 21 or older by Aug. 1 of the enrolling year, who are married, who have a dependent, are veterans, or live with their parents or legal guardians within 30 miles of campus, are exempted from this policy. Students enrolled in one of Stritch’s evening business and management programs, graduate degree programs or online programs are also exempted from this policy.