If You Build It, They’ll Move In

Fall of 2005 will bring exciting new housing options for current and prospective Colgate students. The new townhouse complex, located on Route 12B next to Memorial Hospital, is scheduled to be completed in August and will be open to its first residents as early as the 2005 fall semester.

“Because we’ve had a relatively mild winter, construction has actually been ahead of schedule,” Associate Director of Residential Education Tim Mansfield said.

Group applications and proposals are due to the Office of Residential Education in Drake Hall by March 11. The decision is then based on a half-hour interview in addition to the quality of the group’s proposal. Each group, ranging from 12 to 16 students, should select a member to act as its spokesperson, who will also be responsible for setting up the interview and facilitating the allocation of rooms upon acceptance.”There are six criteria that groups must meet,” Assistant Director of Residential Education Joe Leo said.”The groups’ proposals are expected to address the ways in which they anticipate to collectively rise to the challenges of issues categorized under the headings Scholarship and Education, Service and Philanthropy, Social Life, Community Building, Leadership Development and Accountability.”

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According to Leo, these questions inquire into the nature of applicants’ plans to contribute to their residence community and the broader Colgate community, the undertaking of the organizational structure and governance of the group and the way in which they will determine accountability for actions of the group and individual.

“The reason for this rigorous selection process,” Mansfield said, “is that we want to make sure that those who do get to live in the new townhouses deserve it. We want the best students to live there.”The duality of the complex’s location – proximity to campus yet with enough distance to allow relative independence – and the brand-new amenities make the townhouses a highly attractive and desirable housing option. The staff of Residential Education wants to keep it that way.

“We don’t want a group to just come in and start tearing holes in the walls,” Mansfield said. “That is why we would like students to sign a formal agreement before moving in.”

The agreement will bind signers to abide by their original commitment to community expressed in their group’s proposal and will not tolerate any false representations of the group’s intentions. Breach of contract will warrant the termination of residence, as the opportunity to live in such a promisingly enriching environment is a tremendous privilege.For support and supervision, new staff will be hired to live near or in these townhouses.

“They would act in the capacity of [resident advisors],” Mansfield said, “and we may even hire someone to fill the role of an H.R.C.” Preference will be given to rising juniors and seniors, but Leo and Mansfield both agree that they do not want to discourage aspiring sophomore applicants. They are looking for groups of students who embody the exemplary scholarship and dedication to service to the community that is the Colgate spirit. Applicants should also have a strong commitment to living together and a respect for the greater Hamilton community.