In a massive transformation, the vacant parking lot next to Tyco Printing on Elm Street will become home to suite-style apartments for dozens of graduate and professional students.
The Graduate & Professional Student Housing Committee, which brings together administrators and graduate student representatives, has worked to revitalize the empty space by developing new Yale-owned apartments for graduate students, the Deputy Vice President for Human Resources and Administration Janet Lindner said. Specific plans and timeline for the project are still in the development stages, Lindner added.
“I’m eager to see new housing for grad students and the University will certainly announce plans once they’re in place and approved,” said Lindner, who led the Committee alongside Secretary and Vice President for Student Life Kim Goff-Crews ’83 LAW ’86.
At the start of the last academic year, the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) worked with the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) to aggregate feedback from students about housing options on and off-campus. In general, students voiced concerns about being treated poorly by some New Haven landlords and expressed the need for additional Yale-sponsored housing, said Lauren Tilton GRD ’16, who serves as the GPSS Advocacy Chair.
“I think there’s general excitement that we might be able to offer more options for housing so that students don’t feel like they have to settle with landlords who don’t seem committed to their properties or their tenants,” Tilton said.
The housing committee has worked to add apartment-style units in the site of the parking lot, unlike the current dorm-style housing available in the Hall of Graduate Students (HGS). Wendy Xiao GRD ’17, who serves as Chair of the GSA Facilities and Healthcare Committee, has recommended that units in the new apartments be suite-style, complete with kitchens, four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a central living area. This design, Tilton added, will help to create a better sense of community within the building itself through suite-style spaces that facilitate all graduate student living needs.
“When you have a good place to live and like where you live, it’s one less stressor in their life,” Tilton said. “For undergrads, the colleges are your space, and we want grad students to have that too.”
While some graduate students prefer off-campus housing, others students desire the convenience of the on-campus experience, said Chair of the Graduate Student Assembly Joori Park GRD ’17.
New on-campus units will cater specifically to students who prefer to live on campus, such as many international students who may not have the option of looking at apartments before moving to New Haven, Park said. The reliability and convenient location that come with University-sponsored housing is crucial for them, Park added.
“There’s no one solution for graduate students,” Park said. “But the Graduate and Professional student dormitory on Elm Street is a step in the right direction.”
Currently, the only Yale-sponsored housing for graduate students near central campus is located in HGS, which houses 168 students, and Helen Hadley Hall, which houses 178.
Correction: Sept. 24
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the only Yale-sponsored housing for graduate students near central campus is located in the Hall of Graduate Studies. In fact, Helen Hadley Hall also houses 178 graduate students on central campus.