Butler University officials are looking to ensure that this year’s record-sized class of freshmen have places to eat, sleep and take classes.
With more than 1,070 freshmen expected to start classes in the fall, the administration looked for more housing options.
In an email to the Butler community Friday morning, Vice President of Student Affairs Levester Johnson outlined the university’s plan for accommodation.
The New Student Success Task Force will look “at what existing services and programs the University needs to expand or add, with the goal of accommodating students not only with their academics, but with their overall experience.”
As reported in “90 students waitlisted: administrators look to find spots for unlucky students,” 36 sophomores and 54 juniors were put on a waitlist for university housing in Apartment Village.
Looking to relieve the housing crunch, and in light of the record-setting class size, upper-class Butler students will now have the option of apartments at Christian Theological Seminary or at the Homestead Suites on Indianapolis’s northwest side—about a 20-minute drive from Butler’s campus.
The drive was not a concern for Johnson, who said that the hotel is just one option for students and that it will not be mandatory for a student to live.
“With the number of students that already have cars, we figured that it just made sense to have that as an option,” Johnson said.
This is not the first year that a hotel has been a housing option for Butler students. When officials ran into a housing overflow, they turned to a hotel option near the Fashion Mall at Keystone.
“People loved it so much that we opted for a second year,” Johnson said. “The types of amenities offered at a hotel just worked for a lot of students.”
Amenities like continental breakfast and dry-cleaning, Johnson said, made students not want to return to on-campus housing.
The rooms are available at the same cost as a double-room at Residential College.
More rooms in Ross and Schwitzer Halls will be converted to triples to accommodate incoming students.
As reported in “Renovations welcome students” (Sept. 13, 2010), the university offered 40 beds in CTS in 2010 and the spots filled quickly. Officials also converted rooms in Ross and Schwitzer to triples with lower rates.
Class offerings have also changed to accommodate the increased enrollment.
More than a dozen core curriculum courses have been added, enrollment capacity has been increased and new full-time and adjunct faculty members are being hired in several colleges to meet student needs.
It was reported in “Faculty face budget, programming demands” (March 28), that a goal was for 80 percent of the core be delivered by tenure-line faculty members, but the goal has not been reached, according to Kathryn Morris, provost and vice president for academic affairs.
About 150 new seats will be added to Atherton Marketplace over the summer in hopes to free up space for the increased enrollment.
Johnson said that admissions and finding the best way to reach a target number is not an exact science, so there is always room for bigger or smaller classes.
“You’re trying to land the number on the landing strip and sometimes it’s a little difficult to exactly pinpoint the best way to do it,” Johnson said.
While it isn’t what university officials were expecting, the administration is “going to make the most” of the situation.
“We have really made this into a positive,” Johnson said. “We’re excited to see the Butler Way come out of this situation.”