After announcing purchase of apartment complex, Trinity administration moves forward with housing developments

Trinity’s recent purchase of the City Vista apartments three weeks ago left students with questions for future housing options.

Sheryl Tynes, vice president for student life, says that the students’ worries are unwarranted.

“It’s amazing how much I’m hearing from the seniors who decided to live off campus how much they glorified it in their minds, and they have some real regrets. Those regrets are around the commutes, the distance to come to study, the hassles with landlords, the hassles with roommates and from my vantage point you guys have the rest of your life to live somewhere else in the city. When else will you have four years to be with your friends? To me, that’s the intangible [cost] of living at City Vista,” Tynes said.

One of the biggest concerns for students is pricing. David Tuttle, dean of students, said that rates had not yet been set, but explained some of the factors being considered.

“The kind of factors that are going to go into that decision is we’re going to look at what you’re paying for on campus housing now. We’re going to look at what the rates are there. If you look at City Vista now compared to some of the other apartments in the area, it’s pretty high end. So we’re going to look at other apartments in the area because you guys are consumers and you’re going to want to shop around and see what value you can get. What we want to do is be in the ballpark so that it’s affordable to you, so that it’s a good value to you. The added value to you, we think, is the proximity to campus, the quality of the facilities, and the quality of the people you’d be living with: other students. We’ve got to hit that sweet spot of what’s going to work for you and what’s going to work for us,” Tuttle said.

Because City Vista will be considered on campus housing, financial aid will apply to it during the school year. Melissa Flowers, director of residential life, elaborated on what that could mean.

“Since it is going to be considered on campus residential housing, it will be folded into your typical financial aid process. The one piece that I want you guys to be aware of is that the lease term is going to make a difference. If we’re talking about a ten month lease, that’s going to be completely covered by financial aid. If you get a twelve month lease, you can’t apply financial aid during those two months in which you aren’t enrolled in any courses. So if you apply for summer courses, you’re good to go,” Flowers said.

Tuttle also explained that there is not currently a system in place for applying, but that they aim to have one in March.

“We don’t know exactly when we’ll do the room reservation for this. Based on what we’ve done in the past, it will likely be seniority based, and based on credits,” Tuttle said.

Students will have the flexibility to decide their number of roommates.

“In terms of the configurations, I think what we want to do is have the flexibility for you to decide, once you see the units. Given the size of the common area and of the rooms, you may decide that you want two people in the room, and there would be some kind of discount for that. We know that privacy is a huge deal to you guys, so you may want your own bedrooms, but it may be more affordable for you to split it up. There’s one bedroom, two bedroom, and three bedroom units, so you’d have some flexibility here. At this point, we don’t plan on there being any gender restrictions. For the first year, the plan is that we wouldn’t make you guys have meal plans because there are kitchens there,” Tuttle said.

Students facing disciplinary probation will not be allowed to live at City Vista.

“We’re pulling out a list of students on disciplinary probation right now, and those students aren’t going to be allowed to reserve units there, at least at first. If you’re on probation, and you want to appeal to the Dean of Students Office and we can make recommendations to Reslife, we can,” Tuttle said.

One positive of the City Vista purchase is that it may lead to more options on campus for singles in the current dorms.

“I’m hoping that it will create breathing room for other students on lower campus. You guys told us two things, you wanted apartment style living, and you wanted more options for single living sooner. We hope this is going to get us there, but we won’t know because it’s a big puzzle. We’ve got a campus master plan, a decades long vision of what we want to happen, and I think this aligns perfectly with that,” Tynes said.