Current residents of Horan Hall will be relocated to other residence halls for the spring semester. JILLEEN BARRETT/ THE QUADRANGLE
By Megan LaCreta, A&E Editor
Manhattan College’s Horan Hall, currently filled with student residents, will be closed for the spring 2023 semester. Now, Residence Life will begin plans to relocate students who will have to leave their rooms in the coming months.
Going into the fall semester, students were made aware that Horan Hall would be undergoing renovations throughout the year and would be closed completely in the spring. Students currently residing in Horan will be reassigned to other residence halls, with 100 being relocated to Chrysostom, and the rest spread amongst the other residence halls.
So far, communication from Residence Life regarding the renovations and relocation has been confusing for students, junior Horan resident Sophia Spera said. She explained that she and others in Horan were under the impression that they would move to Chrysostom, but the details of that move were unclear.
“We haven’t gotten any information. [Residence Life] said they would keep us updated throughout the semester. They have not been keeping us updated,” Spera said.
Students should expect more communication on relocation from Residence Life in the upcoming weeks, said Aaron Goodman, director of Residence Life.
“Those students who are in Horan who might have groups in mind and might be looking at other options, they’ll start to see some movement in those directions and some more information come to them specifically about what’s available,” Goodman said.
Goodman explained that Residence Life will be reaching out to Horan residents to plan their moves. Some students could even potentially move into vacancies as they occur this semester.
“There were opportunities where some incoming students were placed in different places, in Lee and some grad students in [Overlook Manor] who ended up not coming or not coming into housing,” Goodman said. “We’re going to be working on filling those [vacancies] for this semester and trying to reduce that number that’s in Horan as the semester goes along, and sort of working with those students on what makes the most sense for when you move. If we pick this group of five that’s going to go into this apartment in [Overlook], like, do you want to move now because it’s open now or do you want to wait until December after finals, and sort of working through those situations with those students as well.”
Goodman noted that students would receive the first intention roster from Residence Life shortly. Students fill out the form to make Residence Life aware of their housing intentions for the following semester.
Goodman explained that any residents who plan to not live on campus in the spring semester for any reason should be sure to fill out the form, to alert Residence Life of an upcoming vacancy. They should also inform their roommates, since it is likely that most empty spaces will be filled as students are relocated. An early heads-up will allow students to attend roommate mixers and make arrangements as soon as they can.
Ronald Gray, Ph.D., vice president of Student Life, explained that there were a number of rooms throughout the residence halls purposefully left unoccupied this semester in order to accommodate the eventual move of students out of Horan.
The number of residence students has decreased overall since the Covid-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, a policy was instituted that required resident students, with some exceptions, to commit to two years of campus residence.
However, Goodman explained that the policy was not realistically able to be upheld with the introduction of remote classes during the pandemic. He noted that while the policy will not be reinstated, he expects students will be more likely to choose to live on campus for two or more years following the renovations.
“The college decided to do some renovations, and we heard the students, we knew that we needed to offer some different types of living experiences,” Gray said. “So we decided to make Horan a space where there’s a variety of options that coincided with some other renovations we [made] in Chrysostom.”
Following renovations, Horan will hold 30 to 40 apartment style spaces, with the rest of the rooms remaining suite style. Chrysostom will host entirely singles in the ‘23-’24 academic year. This spring, however, it will remain doubles to accommodate the number of students relocating from Horan. Goodman explained that Jasper and Lee can also be expected to undergo small renovations to improve conditions in the near future, though students shouldn’t expect either building to close.
Horan will now be the only building with apartment style housing, as Manhattan College has made the decision to put Overlook on the market. This is the final academic year that students will be able to live in Overlook.
Horan will have a decreased occupancy following the renovations, though it will remain the largest residence hall. Coupled with the loss of Overlook, overall occupancy capacity will decrease at the college. However, Gray noted that the college’s current focus is on the quality of the halls.
“It’s going to be a better experience,” Gray said. “We know that Overlook is a little dated, so we recognize that so we want to improve that quality for our students… Hopefully, the long term strategy is maybe if we see that we can do [the current renovations] and we see a need [for more housing], we’ll look at building another building, but that is long term.”
Gray noted that he understood the frustrations students have experienced, and that the college is hoping to work with students to make the dorming experience the best it can be.
“What I really want students to know is that if they have concerns, let us know so that we can respond to it,” Gray said. “We’re working with all of our partners to make the student living experience strong.”