By Sarah Iandoli
During housing selection last spring, students at Saint Michael’s College blindly decided to choose Residence Hall 4 as their housing option for the upcoming year. The college built the new upperclassmen residence hall throughout spring and summer of 2016 and currently juniors and a few seniors live there. As students plan where they will be living next year, questions about the living arrangements and specifics of the new building still linger. . With the building being so new, some are worried about living in a place they are unsure about.
The apartments include a common room, a full kitchen, two bathrooms, and four bedrooms. Brian Shearer, ’18, felt that the new building was the best living option for juniors. He and his suitemates have decorated the common room with Christmas lights and tapestries, making it feel homey. When walking in, you get a warm and welcoming feeling. The common room is clean, put together, and well decorated. “Living further away from main campus makes you feel more like an upperclassman,” Shearer said. “ You definitely feel older.” Residence Hall 4 sits near the suites, townhouses, Cumberland Farms and Dunkin Donuts. Despite this aspect of convenience, some feel that the walk to important buildings within the center of campus is something to get used to.
“You have to pack for the day because you won’t be coming back until later,” said Niall Keane, ’18. On campus, many buildings are close together, so having a new building at the far end of campus can be hard for some people who aren’t used to the walk. Alexa Mullin, ‘18, said that she was more inclined to stay in the apartment and not go to other buildings on campus.Living there means that you have limited swipfor Alliot, unless you purchase the full meal plan.
Some residents feel like staying on top of buying groceries and cooking can be a lot. In Residence Hall 4, there is no common room for residents to hang out or do homework. That is considered a problem with living there, along with the absence of printers.
“You really have to make an effort to see people since you aren’t running into them in Alliot, or in the student center. If you want to see people, you have to make plans,” said Mullin.The building is so new that St. Michael’s hasn’t named it yet. Students refer to it as “The New Building.” Since a good amount of residents are 21, it is considered wet campus, which means that students who are of legal drinking age can drink in their apartments. Students’ say it doesn’t affect the atmosphere. “Even though it is wet campus, people are considerate and good about respecting their neighbors,” said Shearer. If there is a noise complaint at any part of the night, most residents respect others and turn down the noise. Junior, Alexa Mullin said that the building never gets too loud or out of control. Seniors Abby Harvey, Kylie Beauregard, and Rachel Meagher, said they have had a great first semester in Residence Hall 4 and said they feel it is safer, bigger, and cleaner than the townhouses that their classmates are living in. Harvey described living there as a very positive experience for her and her friends.
Although living in Residence Hall 4 is enjoyable, seniors said they do feel isolated from their friends in townhouses, as the “far walk” by our campus standards does result in putting more effort in to visit friends who are living in the 300s or 400s
Natalie Zimmer, resident director for the 200s townhouses and Residence Hall 4, said that she hasn’t had a problem with the area being wet campus. The noise does travel faster and people are active later, but the noise usually stops at midnight.
Natalie recommends people to live here since she has had a good experience with the building so far.
Residence Hall 4 is filled with tight groups of friends in the Class of 2017 and the Class of 2018. Zimmer has spoken about residents possessing similar interests and coexisting well. Many feel that living in Residence Hall 4 has been an enjoyable experience although it has disrupted what was a traditional progression through St. Michael’s housing. According to Abby Harvey, “everything is nice and new and if you can get past the fact that you’re not in the townhouse section then it is perfect.”