By Kaitlyn McCormick
Broncs who love living on campus but crave a little extra privacy are in luck: the university announced that Poyda Hall will be reopening for the fall 2023 semester to accommodate upperclassmen singles.
Some may not have noticed Poyda in the lineup for recent student interest meetings, but it was hard to miss the residence life’s Instagram post on Feb. 21 touting “Big news!” with five key reasons to live in Poyda next semester. Listed in cranberry and white graphic print were affordability, large rooms, parking access, air conditioning options and proximity to key campus landmarks, such as the lake, athletic fields and Canastra pool.
“Our desire always is to have more students live on campus and to benefit from the on-campus experience,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Leanna Fenneberg. The idea to have more attractive room types, like singles, was “lingering in the back of our head constantly,” she said.
She explained that the idea to rejuvenate on-campus living options was posed early in the fall semester, relying on input from both “focus group” style conversations with students as well as a small group of Student Government Association Leaders and Fenneberg’s student advisory board, which is made up of people across various disciplines and majors.
Associate Dean of Residence Life Roberta Butler shared that in addition to the installation of window air conditioning units for one-third of the spaces, the plan is to paint and replace the flooring in the hallways.
In a written statement for The Rider News, Butler also pointed out that student numbers back up the demand for single room access. Butler, using approximate numbers, said that the room selection process for the 2022-2023 academic year showed 330 students’ indication for single rooms, while only 240 got a timeslot to select a single room and only 110 rooms were available.
Reopening the residence hall will allow for 120 more bed spaces available, with the most affordable single room options on campus. While the going rates were yet to be solidified by the Board of Trustees, Butler said that the pricing will fall several hundred dollars cheaper than other single living options with rates changing between air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned spaces.
While Poyda may have been subject to some mixed reviews from former students, many expressed excitement in an increase in options for single spaces for upperclassmen who choose to live on campus.
Though closeness to amenities like the pool and athletic complex may be beneficial to some, others recalled inconveniences when living in Poyda. Senior film & television major Karl Stever lived in Poyda for his fall semester freshman year and thought the hall was “pretty bad” in terms of location due to it being further away from campus hot spots like Daly’s and the Student Recreation Center.
“All my other friends lived in like Ziegler, Conover, Hill … so I felt pretty secluded,” Stever said.
Junior communication studies major Courtney Little said that while there may have been some “gross aspects” of the Poyda Hall she inhabited her freshman year, she thinks that opting to open the residence back up for singles is a great option for upperclassmen who may not have the ability to live off campus but still want to have their own space.
On Feb. 27 students gathered in the Poyda lobby for more information on the single spaces available in the coming semester.
Junior actuarial sciences major Richard Lowther said he currently lives in a single and thinks that it is beneficial for students to be able to have their own space as a “safe, kind of cozy environment.”
Sophomore biology major Maxwell Pierre was another student excited to “have a chance” at grabbing a single, citing the privacy as a huge benefit.
In addition to being more affordable, the spaces in Poyda also have the biggest standard rooms on campus, averaging at around 10 feet by 14 feet while other options fall closer to 10 feet by 12 feet.
Housing deposits are due by March 1 and students are expected to have applications in by March 10.