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Committee Will Advise on Student Housing Facilities

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October 25, 2006 | by Alan K. Cubbage

Evanston, Ill. --- Provost Lawrence B. Dumas has appointed a committee to advise University leaders on key issues relating to student housing on the Evanston campus.

The committee, chaired by Vice President for Student Affairs William Banis and Ronald Braeutigam, associate provost for undergraduate education, will review the University's current student residences on the Evanston campus and consider options for future development, Dumas said.

“We are seeking advice from the committee on how we can best develop our residential facilities as learning communities and provide a range of housing options on the Evanston campus,” Dumas said.

The committee expects to work with Biddison Hier, Ltd., a consulting firm that specializes in planning and management services for higher education.

Members of the advisory committee will include an undergraduate student and a graduate student, a recent alumnus/a, faculty members, and representatives from the offices of student affairs, University enrollment, facilities management, information technology, budget and the provost.

“This committee will help the University articulate a vision and set of values for future student housing development at Northwestern,” Dumas said.

The committee is expected to make recommendations in the following areas:

• How the residence hall experience can contribute to more integrated learning for students, by extending classroom learning and activities.

• Factors that affect the creation of campus community at Northwestern, and factors, physical and programmatic, that can strengthen the sense of community and enhance the residential experience.

• Living and learning communities within student housing facilities at Northwestern.

• How different facility and space configurations can facilitate and enhance interpersonal and intellectual interactions on campus and how housing facilities at Northwestern could be modified to make them more attractive to students.

• Local market conditions and other factors that influence the choice of living off campus or on campus.

The committee will also review the best practices in housing concepts and residential life at peer and competitive institutions and recommend practices that could be adopted at Northwestern.

Northwestern has a unique system of student residences, one that has evolved over time to include many different forms. Northwestern has 34 residence halls and an additional 29 fraternity and sorority houses, some of which house as few as 25 students. The residential facilities range from ones built within the last decade to one residence hall built in the 19th century and several others in the early 20th century.

Dumas asked the committee to provide its recommendations by the end of the 2006-2007 academic year.