By Seren Jones
On Wednesday, Sept. 3, LIU Post officially re-opened its gates to students. About 1,600 students, including the vast majority of the 15 varsity sports teams and a large percentage of the international student community, moved into the campus resident halls, ready to get this upcoming semester underway. Despite the big move-in day, Director of Campus Life, Michael Berthel, informed The Pioneer that not all student dorms would be open for the fall semester.
According to Berthel, Queens Hall and Kings Hall will not provide housing for students this semester. Kings Hall was closed last year due to a drop in student enrollment, thus Facilities staff took the opportunity to renovate the residence hall by removing carpet, installing new flooring, and painting the dorm rooms and common lounges. Although in 2009, Queens Hall was closed and underwent similar renovations yet re-opened the following year, the residence hall will close again this semester. Additionally, Riggs basement will no longer be available for housing as it is officially the new practice area of the men’s wrestling team. Nassau’s basement will also be closed due to renovations.
In spite of the closure of these halls, Berthel stated that the same amount of residence halls is open this year as last year because other dorms were also closed. “The only difference is that we opened the South Residence Complex (SRC) this year, which was closed last year. This was because students wanted a suite-style [accommodation] and we wanted to accommodate that and offer a different housing option for students.”
The Director of Campus life also announced that SRC is open exclusively for upperclassmen students. “We heard from students who wanted to open SRC and take advantage of suite-style living, and we were happy to offer that.”
According to senior Psychology major Nadia Fernando, the re- opening of the SRC will be a huge social boost for the school. “During my freshman and sophomore years, when the suites were open for both students and student athletes, there was certainly more of a community feel on campus.” The suite-style accommodation allowed up to eight people in double rooms to live together and to share a common living area as well as a semi-private bathroom. “It was a great way of making instant friends and there was always something going on.
Although LIU Post faces a dramatic decrease in enrollment this year, the majority of the five additional sports teams that have been added to LIU Post’s Varsity Athletic Department (which include men’s wrestling, women’s fencing, women’s golf, and men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field) are expected to live on campus. The Residence Life Department, which moved over the summer from Post Hall to the second floor of Hillwood Commons, is confident that they can accommodate any student who wishes to reside on campus.
When asked if Queens Hall and Kings Hall would possibly be available to students by Spring 2015, Berthel stated: “We review the needs of our residential community each semester to determine if we need to re-evaluate which buildings we are using….The demand and needs are always changing.”
To help encourage a sense of hospitality and community in the residential halls, the Campus Life staff assigned students based on their interests and preferences. This includes athletic involvement, Greek affiliation, and academic major. Berthel added, “Each of our residence halls form a unique personality based on the students that live in
them. It easily allows everyone to find [his or her] home in one of our halls.” Post, Riggs, Nassau, Suffolk, and Brookville are traditional-style dorms, providing two, three, or four-person rooms that open into a common hallway, where residents in each hallway share a large common bathroom.
However, Suffolk and Nassau offer more specialized options. Suffolk Hall is a traditional-style hall designed for 24-hour intensified study for students who prefer a quiet, academic-centered environment, which is why it’s popular amongst Honors students. Unlike the other residence halls, Nassau offers the additional benefit of long-stay accommodations over vacations and in between semesters, thus the dorm is known to house international students, those who work on campus, and those who register for classes during the winter semester, as well as winter athletic teams.
With the opening of Nassau, Suffolk, SRC, Brookville, Riggs, and Post for the fall semester, the students of LIU Post who reside on campus had moved in by Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014.