The dramatic increase in freshman admissions to the University of La Verne and the opening of the much anticipated Vista La Verne dorm are among the major changes at the University this fall.
More than 630 freshmen are enrolled as of the start of the fall semester, compared with 524 last year.
This increase has caused staff to focus on the specific needs of freshmen along with returning students.
“What we do is designate specific communities,” said Juan Regalado, student housing director and assistant dean of student affairs.
“There are benefits to students living together with their similar age group, Regalado said. “Studies show that they do better in school and graduate at a faster rate.”
Continuing students usually live with other continuing or transfer students, Regalado said.
Some returning students believe the new upscale Vista dorm, with suites vs. traditional double rooms, should be for older students.
But the first floor of Vista is actually reserved for freshmen, with a few suites designated for honor students only.
“The original plan was to only have honors suites,” said Danielle Vukovich, assistant housing coordinator.
“I think that’s really cool that you get a little initiative if you do well,” said Sandra Maas, sophomore business major.
More than 400 continuing students and more than 350 freshmen are living on campus this year. This does not include new transfer students.
“There were a great number of applicants so it was kind of tough to accommodate all of them,” Vukovich said.
Because of the demand for freshman housing, besides Vista, all of Brandt, three of the five wings in Stu-Han, and three of the six buildings in the Oaks were all set aside for freshmen.
“I don’t mind the (freshmen),” said Rebecca Christie, a junior biology major who lives in Vista.
“Some are quiet, but then some of them are loud when they invite other friends over.”
As for freshmen and upper-class students sharing spaces, “we haven’t had any conflicts, everything ran smoothly during move-in day,” Vukovich said.
And despite the increase in students, ULV has not seen quite the housing crunch of previous years.
Regalado said that out of all the applicants for housing, no continuing students were wait-listed for housing, though 30 new students are still on the “pending” list.
While some movement can be expected, the University dorms are currently at 98 percent capacity.
Mariela Patron can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.