Boston University students have struggled for years in a mad scramble to find on-campus residences during non-academic periods, so as a solution, BU Housing announced a new residence option that lasts for a full 12-month cycle.
The Year-Round Housing Option will be offered beginning in May 2014, said BU Housing Director Nishmin Kashyap. Residences will be available exclusively between 90 and 92 Bay State Road, and the program will give students the opportunity to remain in the same residence during all vacations.
“This option allows students to live on campus throughout the summer and academic year … in a dormitory-style residence and not have to move-out during break periods,” Kashyap said. “Approved applicants will reside at 90 to 92 Bay State Road continuously beginning with Summer Session 1 through the end of the academic year.”
Students will be able to live in these rooms for Summer Sessions 1 and 2, the 2-week bridge period between the end of Summer Session 2 and the start of the school year, and all academic breaks including the Thanksgiving, winter and spring recesses.
90 to 92 Bay State Road contains brownstones in a small dormitory-style residence. Although on-campus services such as dining halls will be closed during the break periods while year-round housing still functions, the building has features to combat the inconvenience.
“This residence contains a common area kitchen for residents’ use during break periods when BU Dining [Services] is closed,” Kashyap said. “It should also be noted that apartment-style accommodations are open during academic year break periods.”
Despite the on-site kitchen, students who sign up for year-round housing are still required to enroll in a traditional BU dining plan, Kashyap said.
The new housing option was developed to aid students who participate in Boston-area internships or take summer courses at BU but struggle to find housing during that time.
“There have been requests by students to remain in their housing during breaks and summer terms,” Kashyap said. “This will give students the continuity they are looking for. We see this program benefiting all students who want to stay in the Boston area during break periods and the summer.”
The rates for year-round housing will be charged in five increments, or one charge for each of the five sessions of the BU calendar: both summer sessions, bridge housing and the fall and spring semesters.
“The basic room rate for this option also includes the cost of vacation housing,” Kashyap said. “As the demographics of our student body changes, we have to provide viable options. We also have to see if there is a real demand for Year-Round Housing.”
Some students at BU said living on-campus for an entire year would be convenient for fellow Terriers who struggle to locate suitable living situations during break periods.
Micayla Freehan, a Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences freshman, said the 12-month housing option was a good alternative to the often-stressful Boston real estate market.
“Even though I live close, I think it would be really cool,” Freehan said. “Housing is so hard to find these days, and it’s great that the school is making it so students don’t have go apartment-hunting or something just to keep an internship. Especially if people have an internship in Boston, they could live on campus and that would make it a lot easier to commute to it.”
Andrew Velichansky, a School of Management sophomore, said while the 12-month housing option is good for students working for the school during the summer, having only one dormitory option is limiting.
“It would be really nice for those students who work at BU over the summer,” Velichansky said. “I know I have friends who work at the Student Activities Office and orientation. They’re living on-campus during the school-year, and it would be great for them not to have to move everything twice … The downside is that if they don’t want to live at those select dorms, they’re not going to want to use the option.”
Danielle Mendez, a junior in SAR, said the option is advantageous for students who do not want to transfer their possessions from one living space to another when the school year ends.
“I think it would be great for people who have internships over the summer,” Mendez said. “It’s helpful for them because if they’re juniors planning on staying on campus, they can stay and leave all their stuff during the summer instead of having to move all of their stuff from one dorm to another, which is really annoying to have to do.”