Amid historic housing demand, preliminary housing plans for next academic year announced to undergrads
Vaibhav Sharma, Photo Editor
After the news that a historically large class of 2025, due to an increase in pandemic-caused leaves of absence, would prevent the incoming class from fitting on Old Campus, Dean of Yale College Marvin Chun updated undergrads on the preliminary housing plans for next academic year
In an email sent to undergraduate students on Thursday afternoon, Chun outlined a provisional housing plan that is based on the assumption that “encouraging progress in vaccinations” would allow Yale College to be able to bring all students back to campus in the fall by making use of double bedrooms. Because of the uncertainty of that progress, it will take more data and time before the College can finalize its housing plans. In the meantime, however, Chun announced changes to “timelines, practices, and even traditions” such as altering which classes live in what spaces which will allow residential colleges to accommodate the increased housing demand brought on by the pandemic.
“Next year, we expect to welcome our largest enrollment ever, and so the heads and deans have had to be very creative and flexible in their plans,” Dean of Student Affairs Melanie Boyd wrote to the News. “Recognizing that no single solution would work for all 14 colleges given their individual housing configurations, they have come up with a variety of solutions tailored to their needs. There’s a wonderful spirit of openness and experimentation, as well as a deep thoughtfulness about opportunities for each residential college.”
According to the email update, Branford, Davenport, Morse and Saybrook colleges will house rising sophomores on Old Campus and first-years students in the residential colleges, along with juniors and seniors. On the flip side, Berkeley, Ezra Stiles, Grace Hopper, Jonathan Edwards, Pierson and Trumbull colleges will continue to house rising sophomores, juniors and seniors in the colleges, while first-year students will reside on Old Campus. Aligning with the housing precedent, Benjamin Franklin, Pauli Murray, Silliman and Timothy Dwight colleges will continue to house all of their students in the college proper.
Chun told the News that students who took only one semester off can group with their class of matriculation for housing purposes. However, for students who took an entire gap year, it will depend on the availability within the colleges.
“Colleges may offer some flexibility if housing capacity permits,” Chun wrote to the News. “As I announced today, the availability of college beds for juniors and seniors is expected to be comparable to an ordinary year. In the past, colleges have made accommodations for students in this category that kept them together with members of their original class while at the same time preventing any student from seeking senior housing for more than two semesters. As in pre-pandemic years, upper-level college housing depends on a favorable housing draw.”
In the message, Chun also outlined the timeline for housing lotteries, informing students that on-campus lotteries and room draws are anticipated to occur before the completion of classes this semester. While housing was managed centrally this year because of the extraordinary circumstances presented by the pandemic, the colleges will once again manage their own housing for the upcoming academic year.
Another change announced in the email was that college affiliation transfers will continue to be suspended — a suspension that originally went into effect last year. In the past, students were permitted to petition to change their residential college affiliation, but because “housing demand is at maximum capacity this year, without sufficient room to allow for transfers across the 14 colleges,” college transfers will not be permitted.
Lastly, Chun’s update to the community announced the creation of mixed-college housing. In McClellan Hall on Old Campus and Arnold Hall on Broadway, rising juniors and seniors will be able to live with friends from other colleges.
“This new mixed-college housing, although limited, responds to a longstanding request for students from different colleges to be able to live together without having to transfer affiliation,” the email read.
The preliminary plans are based on a housing survey sent out by Chun’s office on Feb. 11 to undergraduate students to gauge where students were interested in living.
In another email sent to the students who filled out the survey on Thursday, Chun wrote the non-binding survey responses “enabled [Yale College] to project that Yale College will have sufficient housing in the colleges next fall.” He detailed that in the survey, 24 percent of rising juniors and 44 percent or rising seniors reported a preference to live off campus next fall, and about 100 students are estimated to prefer mixed-college housing.
For mixed-college housing, Arnold Hall has 29 single bedrooms and eight double bedrooms, and McClellan Hall has 49 single bedrooms. According to the email, rising juniors and seniors will receive more details on how to apply for mixed-college housing before colleges start their housing lotteries.
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