Bloss Hall offers graduate-student housing

Jack Steindorf News Contributor

Seventh floor offers perks to residents

Beginning this year, Oregon State University graduate students have been given the opportunity to relive the residence hall experience. 

This year, OSU designated the seventh floor in Bloss Hall for graduate students only.  The floor offers a variety of perks tailored to fit the specific needs of graduate students. 

The implementation of this graduate student-only program is in part due to the varying needs of different students, according to Kathryn Magura, the assistant director of operations at University Housing and Dining Services, who has been working with students to perfect this program in its earliest stages.

“Some of the feedback we’re getting from students is that the needs are different, so someone coming in as a transfer student who has been at a different institution, their needs are different from someone who has already been at Oregon State for a year and they’re not the same as a first-year incoming student,” Magura said. “Graduate students have a whole plethora of different needs too, so we’re trying to identify ways that we can support students through specific programming, staffing in the building and whatnot.” 

In working with students, the UHDS staff has been able to provide first year students, upperclassmen and graduate students with the tools they need to be effective during college. Jennifer Vina, the director of marketing at UHDS, sees the amount of students that want to live on campus starting to change.

“We’re seeing more and more students wanting to stay on campus another year. We’re even seeing students who live off campus their first year wanting to come on (campus) their second year,” Vina said.

With these trends changing, UHDS has been implementing sophomore-and-above housing in most dorms and within specific living-learning communities. UHDS is making a push to cater to the needs of different students living in the dorms, according to Vina.  

“Living with peers that are at that same point as you (creates) that sense of connectedness,” Vina said.

There are many examples of these communities across campus, but certain communities are expanding and changes are being made for next year. According to Vina, next year the first floor of Cauthorn will be be open only to returning OSU students and transfer students. This is due to the amount of returning students that want to live on the west side of campus.

According Ben Medeiros, the assistant director of residential education, other communities are uniquely designed to fit students’ needs.

“The first floor of Poling and Buxton are for our sophomore-and-above engineering students, because it’s within the engineering living-learning community,” Medeiros said. 

When speaking about the first-year implementation of the graduate-student-only floor in Bloss Hall, Medeiros was satisfied, but knew that changes will come.

“I think that there have been a lot of learning experiences, but there have been a lot of successes as well. Graduate housing is so new to us; we are still figuring it out,” Medeiros said.

Next year, this graduate-student-only floor will be moving to Halsell, the current upperclassman residence hall.

“I think moving to Halsell will serve that community well. (There will be) the ability to form a sense of community and that was more designed for an older student in mind. I think that will better support them and give them features that they don’t currently have like the kitchen suites,” Medeiros said.

According to Vina, the program has been well-received and the UHDS team is excited to find new ways to continue to grow the graduate student population that lives on the OSU campus. 

Students looking to live in a graduate or sophomore-and-above specific floor can apply through the UHDS webpage.

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