JBU pushes for seniors to live on campus

Next year’s seniors are being asked to reconsider moving off campus next semester as the due date for Off-Campus housing draws closer.

According to Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life, Andre Broquard, with the addition of the North Slope Apartments and the completion of J. Alvin there will be room on campus to house more seniors during the 2014-2015 school year.

There are currently 402 John Brown University students classified as seniors. 195 of those students live in on-campus housing.

“I would love to see that range go up,” Broquard said. “It would be a stretch, but it would be worth it. 50 percent of seniors living on campus would be great.”

Broquard also mentioned that he is not asking every senior to stay on campus and realizes that living off campus will continue to be more appealing to some students.

Senior Brandon Blackman is one student who is thriving while living off campus. He lives in the “Red Loft” behind the floral shop on Broadway Street.

“My favorite part of living off campus is the finances,” Blackman said. “It is much cheaper for me, but finances are equally tied with living with my best friends.”

Blackman noted that living off campus has been a great learning experience. He said he has learned about paying bills, planning ahead for meals and deciding simple things like who does the dishes.

“I have learned a lot about living in a different community as well,” Blackman said. “It helps teach you how to get around speed bumps when things don’t get done.”

Blackman also thought one of the downsides to living off campus would be commuting to campus each day.

“The commute is not as big of a challenge as I thought it would be,” Blackman said. “Once it is warmer outside, I plan to walk or bike to campus.”

Blackman says the thing he misses most about living on campus is the community easily found within the dorm.

“There is just something about knowing people are around all the time,” Blackman said. “It is too easy to not make an effort. It is definitely important for students who live off campus to make an effort to stay involved.”

The impact seniors have on campus is one aspect Broquard finds important.

“Seniors are valuable to the institution,” Broquard said. “And they are key in passing it down and helping younger students. Being off campus, it is not as natural.”

For senior Morgan Morris, who lives in Walker, the idea of staying involved and connected was the major push to stay on campus.

“I was reminded last year that I have my whole life to live off campus. I love being right in the middle of everything,” Morris said.

Although Morris has many friends on campus, she says the hardest part of being an on-campus senior is the fact that most of her senior friends live off campus.

“It is definitely different this year because I do not see all of them as much as I used to. When we were all on campus we naturally lived life together on a regular basis.”

Morris is thankful, though, that she is able to come back each day to her dorm room and build relationships with her on-campus peers and friends.

“I value being involved. I knew I could do it more effectively living on campus. I have more time to spend, and I knew it would be harder to connect off campus for me,” Morris said. “Being involved is being here. It is something you can do on or off campus. You just have to put effort into it.”

Applications for off campus housing for the 2014- 2015 school year are due March 7.

For students interested in living on campus during the 2014- 2015 school year, Residence Life will be hosting an open house at the Northslope Apartments Wednesday, February