With Residence Halls Near Capacity, College Launches Housing Study

Manhattan College has one very clear advantage over other urban colleges and universities, and that is its multiple on-campus housing facilities.

Housing is made available and is guaranteed for each undergraduate student during his or her four years at the school.

However, as the college has been successful in turning its focus from a commuter to a residential student population, residence halls are nearing their maximum capacity.

“As of Sept. 1 we are at 99.7 percent capacity,” Andrew Weingarten, director of residence life, said.

While the percentage seems daunting, there is some leeway in how the school is able and will continue to meet the needs of each student who wishes to live on campus.

“It’s 99.7 percent after being able to accommodate all of the single room requests that I possibly could and all of the requests for graduate students to live on campus that I possibly could,” Weingarten said.

There are about 45 students paying an additional surcharge for single rooms, most of which are located in Horan Hall, with a waiting list for single rooms.

It is also not expected for the undergraduate population to increase drastically, according to the college’s master plan.

Currently every single dorm space on campus is being utilized and Overlook Manor has reached its full capacity, housing a total of 393 students.

“This year we have made every room available on campus, when in years past some would occasionally be used as a show room for admissions tours,” Tiffany French, area coordinator for Horan Hall, said.

Although the room to make adjustments is limited, faculty and staff have not experienced any significant problems.

“At least once a day, everyday we talk about where we’re at with different things and what is essential in terms of student needs,” AJ Goodman, area coordinator of Jasper, Chrysostom and Overlook, said.

In recent years the college has undertaken various initiatives to investigate the state of campus housing, including surveying students and gathering feedback, which concluded there was cause for change.

“When it was all condensed down it became quite obvious that we needed to do some things in housing. Housing is a major component of the campus master plan going forward,” Vice President of Facilities Andrew Ryan said.

The college intends to run a study within the next few weeks, through an outside organization, to further quantify housing needs.

“Part of the housing study will be looking at all the housing we currently have and looking at where the college should go with housing in the future,” Ryan said.

This research will include the type of housing, such as apartment-style living or single room, quantity of each type of housing and where the housing should be located.

It will also determine if the college is going to acquire new properties or modernize its currently owned buildings.

“There is an assumption that we that we would be looking to have some additional or different housing in a four to five year time frame,” Ryan said.