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.
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
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
“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,”
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.