Q ‘ A with Krystal R. Schofield, Director of Residence Life at UT

How many people are on the waiting list to get out of Kennedy Place?

There is no waiting list to move out of Kennedy Place. All students are able to participate in open room change. Yesterday about 11 Kennedy Place residents participated, many of whom wished to just switch rooms within Kennedy Place. To provide a context, we anticipate 500 room changes in this room change week. As you can see, the amount of room changes at Kennedy Place is not inordinate.

Were you surprised about the number of students trying to leave Kennedy?

There are not many students who chose to move out of Kennedy Place. 6 students moved out of Kennedy Place during room change and 5 students moved to different rooms within Kennedy. Also there were 5 students moved into Kennedy Place from other halls. Again, we are still in the process of Open Room Change moves so the above number may change between now and the end of the week.

How many vacancies are there currently in Kennedy Place?

We had 100% occupancy prior to the start of classes. Some students were “no shows” and some received incentives to move off campus. As of today, we have 8 vacancies in Kennedy Place. Since we are still in the process of going through open room change, this number is not final. We will not have out final counts until after we finish open room change this week.

Do you feel students get what they pay for in Kennedy?

Yes, the building is designed for mostly single rooms.

Do you intend to change anything next year, like lowering the price or requiring freshmen and/or transfers to room there?

At this time we do not intend to change anything about the way students are assigned. There were some transfer students assigned to vacancies in all of our halls that had openings over the summer.

Why is the cost of Kennedy place $4,000 when it is much smaller then many of the other cheaper dorms?

The price of all residence hall space is voted on and approved by the Board of Trustees. Single rooms drive the price because of a private bath and kitchen. If one adds in the continuous high construction costs that we have experienced, we believe that the cost is a fair one. Most of the single rooms are slightly larger than the ones in Austin. The singles in Austin have shared baths, not private baths that are in the single rooms in Kennedy Place.

Why couldn’t students receive notification of the Kennedy dorm costs and room plans further in advance?

The costs for all residence hall spaces were posted for the students as soon as they were finalized by the Board of Trustees. We purposely did not have Kennedy Place room selection in the Spring until after the final costs were approved by the Board so that there was not surprise after the fact. The plans for the Kennedy Place rooms were shown to the residents that attended the Residence Hall Association (RHA) several times throughout the spring semester. They were also made available at a Student Government meeting and were then posted in the lobby of the Vaughn Center for about a week after that. During the spring 2006, residential students active in their hall councils and RHA were able to review the plans and ask questions about the building and how it was progressing. Also, students were able to view the blueprints when selecting their space during housing selection.

When will the construction be completed?

The Garden Room will be complete this fall. However, the residential area is complete and did open on time.

Can further security measures be taken since students have to cross a major street and the LASER team cannot take students?

The University of Tampa has worked closely with the state to change the lights at the Falk Theatre and University Drive crossings. A median has been added as well as a countdown feature. The length of both crossing areas has been extended and is visible so that students will know how long they have to cross the street prior to starting to cross at the intersections. We also have a Campus Safety and Security Officer in the lobby of Kennedy Place every evening from 11 pm to 7 am. The officer is able to monitor the exterior cameras and assist residents. Also, an additional gated card access will be installed when the Garden room is completed. Kennedy Place will have a double card entry system. LASER Team, while unable to cross Kennedy Blvd., is willing to monitor residents from the crosswalk area until they enter the building safely.We encourage residents who have specific suggestions to attend the RHA meetings on Tuesday Nights at 8:15 PM in the Brevard Community Room. The students who attend these meetings have the opportunity to offer suggestions and be a part of making things better in their residence hall. Students who are unable to attend their hall council meeting or the RHA meeting can e-mail RHA atrha@ut.edu with any questions, comments or concerns.

Why are there RAs only on every other floor?

The RA to student ratio is about the same as it is in many of the other halls on campus. Additionally, we have an upper class and non-traditional students who are living in singles which reduces the number of roommate conflicts and suitemate conflicts. However the RAs are still available to address concerns about their neighbors and for those students in the shared bathroom units. They will also continue to offer programs, offer theme bulletin boards/door tags, and make rounds on each floor.

Is this type of housing arrangement a national trend, or an original experiment?

Many campuses are providing more singles since singles are often requested. We are no different than other universities and colleges. Single rooms have been in demand. However, colleges and universities cannot offer all single rooms. They and we want to have a mixed portfolio of room occupancies due to student preferences and their educational value. By offering this variety of room options, we are able to offer students choices and still give them the support of the Residence Life team. I believe we are very original in the way we have chosen to proceed with our campus housing arrangements and allocation of Resident Assistants. Just to mention one other fact is that we have found through our Florida housing officer meetings that we have more RAs per student than other Florida colleges and universities.

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