Senators hear presentation on the 10-year Housing Master Plan

    ASG convened Wednesday night to hear from Julie Payne Kirchmeier, assistant vice president of student auxiliary services, and Paul Riel, executive director of residential services, who presented the new 10-year Housing Master Plan.

    Earlier in September, the University announced the beginning of the construction of a new residential hall located on 560 Lincoln Street. Kirchmeier and Riel gave a walk-through of the housing plan, the processes and analyses used to come up with the financial and logistic aspects of the plan, as well as consideration of the surveys issued throughout the student body last year.

    The plan relayed the expected number of years required for the demolition of Bobb Hall, McCulloch Hall and Sargent Hall, and the renovation and completion of construction sites. The plan also includes the construction of five new residential halls.

    "We know that living on campus is a foundation experience for our students," Kirchmeier said. "It bonds you together in a very intentional way."

    The two also announced there will be a freshmen and sophomore on-campus living requirement, in which Greek housing will be included.

    Kirchmeier and Riel expressed that the majority of buildings on campus will be maintained in the process, with significant housing repairs and the inclusion of air-conditioning. The renovation of existing facilities was set as a "priority."

    "We are really focusing here on the undergraduate students to modernize these facilities, to meet the needs and demands of current students," Kirchmeier said.

    Up to this point, residential administrators focused on replacing systems. However, this new plan is projected to be more economically efficient. The renovations will occur over a 10-year span without the pressure of having to complete significant work by the end of the summer when the majority of students arrive back on campus.

    From the survey conducted last year, residential directors received feedback on imperative information that allowed for insight into students' opinions about housing. As for the programmatic landscape of the new housing facilities, the new Residential Life Director Deb Schmidt-Rogers will work out the logistics in the near future.

    Additional business of the ASG meeting addressed the Student Leadership Stipend Committee, which will supply twenty $500 stipends to those across campus who face barriers in leading student groups due to financial needs and have limited time to devote to leadership positions in replace of earning an income.

    The motion of the legislation passed after Senator Vicky Rusanova, a Weinberg senior, motioned for an amendment to the official legislation to make the committee application accessible to the entire Northwestern community.


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