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Saint Mary’s to provide exclusive on-campus housing for seniors

Tabitha Ricketts | Monday, January 23, 2012

New living accommodations for Saint Mary’s seniors will be available next year, as Regina South will be opened exclusively as on-campus housing for seniors. 

Janielle Tchakerian, director of Residence Life and Community Standards at Saint Mary’s, said the College is “very excited” to offer this opportunity to the students.

“It’s a privilege for their senior year,” she said. 

The updates to the residence hall include 36 available single rooms, a visitation policy to match that of Opus Hall, the only other senior-exclusive residence on campus, a reduced meal plan requirement and the acceptance of pets weighing under 30 pounds. 

“For some students it’s a great comfort,” Tchakerian said. “It allows them to bring a family pet from home to live with them in their last year.”

Tchakerian said to accommodate students’ pets, the South courtyard will become a “pet friendly” yard.

“We know that they can’t just be cooped up inside their rooms,” she said. 

She said she has already seen a positive response from rising seniors during two information sessions, some of which have expressed interest in rooming with pets such as cats, dogs, rabbits and hedgehogs.

In addition to allowing pets, the new Regina South will also offer seniors more space. 

Each of the 36 rooms will be offered as a single, including rooms that were previously offered as quads or doubles. Regular-sized singles will be parceled together as a two-room suite, Tchakerian said.

The building that used to house the smallest singles on campus will now house the largest, she said. 

Each floor will have a microwave and refrigerator available, as well as a shared single-room for storage. 

“For a lot of our students, moving off-campus loses financial aid,” Tchakerian said. “We wanted to make an affordable option on campus. Because Regina South is [currently] not occupied, we decided to look at it and see if we could make it more attractive for our rising seniors.”

There will be a special room selection for seniors on Feb. 1, during which names will be drawn in a lottery first for Opus housing, then for Regina South, following the same process.

“So they don’t have to wait until April to find out where they are going to live,” Tchakerian said. “Those students who might be on the fence about living off-campus will know.”

The class of 2013 will be the first to try out the new arrangement and policies regarding pets.

“The most attractive part of Regina South is the new rooming and meal plan,” Tchakerian said. “This is a great compromise in meeting [students'] needs.”