As housing selection comes into full swing, the uncertain future of intentional living communitites (ILCs) on both campuses raises questions about the support for these communitites at our schools. Both Edelbrock (SJU) and Ann House (CSB) sit on the chopping block this year, and we have concerns about the administrative process that led to these decisions. We feel students have been left out of that process.
The Administration has decided to eliminate Edelbrock due to the high costs of renovations, and Ann House will be removed to make way for a new North entrance to CSB.
Initially, SJU Residential Life told Edelbrock residents to move forward with plans to continue their living community. While these students began to finalize their living arrangements, SJU decided to take the house offline. Additionally, at CSB, ILC residents in Ann House were aware of similar concerns to the availability of their house. They were not given explicit information from Residential Life about the future of all ILCs at St. Ben’s until they sought it out. In both cases, decisions about ILCs have not involved students.
The joy of living on campus is the ability to find students with similar passions and build community around those passions. When we have well-sponsored ILCs on campus, they bring depth and diversity to campus life.
The schools have valid reasons for taking these houses offline, but did not communicate these reasons with students effectively. Concrete alternatives for both ILCs were not offered in time for a smooth housing selection process.
Part of what makes intentional living communities different from the regular housing selection process is that they require community decisions. While we are frustrated to see these communities in jeopardy, there is a larger issue at hand. We’re meeting closed doors when the doors should be open.
There is a clear lack of communication in decision-making between administration and students. It’s not us against them, we just want to have a conversation, To live in community, we must all engage in the conversations that affect the community.
As students, we seek open communication and involvement in the decision-making processes at our schools.