Transition to all four-year residential colleges

Jan. 24, 2022
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TO: All undergraduate students

Jill Dolan, Dean of the College
W. Rochelle Calhoun, VP for Campus Life

For the Council of College Heads:  Prof. Elizabeth Armstrong (Faculty Head, Butler College); Kathleen Deignan, Dean of Undergraduate Students; Senior Associate Dean of the College Claire Fowler; Prof. Maria Garlock (Faculty Head, Forbes College); Prof. Asif Ghazanfar (Faculty Head, New College East); Prof. Claire Gmachl (Faculty Head, Whitman College); Chad Klaus, Vice Present for University Services; Prof. AnneMarie Luijendijk (Faculty Head, First College/New College West); Prof. Clancy Rowley (Faculty Head, Rockefeller College); Prof. Stacey Sinclair (Faculty Head, Mathey College)

RE: Transition to all four-year residential colleges

January 24, 2022

The Council of College Heads (COCH) writes to share exciting news about major changes to the University’s residential college system. Beginning in fall 2022, the University will transition to a fully-integrated four-year residential college system, which will further our commitment to creating continuous living-learning communities for all undergraduates. Every residential college will have rooms reserved for juniors and seniors who want to continue to live in their college. 

Until this moment, students in a two-year college (First, Forbes, and Rockefeller) who wanted to live in a residential college in their junior and/or senior year had to switch their affiliation to a four-year college (Butler, Mathey, or Whitman). This shift disrupted students’ continuity of community and advising support.

Under the new system, all residential colleges will have some housing available for juniors and seniors, which will allow students to continue living in their residential college if they wish.

Our intention for the new program is that juniors and seniors will have the option to continue living in their assigned residential college or to live in unaffiliated upperclass housing. All students, including those who choose to live outside of their college, will then retain their original college affiliation for advising purposes. The long-term goal of the new program is to ensure continuity of residential community and advising resources.

The fall 2022 opening of New College East (NCE) and New College West (NCW) will help facilitate this transition by creating additional capacity. As we move towards the full implementation of this new program, there will be special rules for this year’s room draw so we can populate the new colleges and begin to equalize the sizes of all residential colleges.

For the spring 2022 room draw, First College rising sophomores will move into NCW. A sophomore class for NCE will be drawn from rising sophomores from Rocky, Forbes, and Butler, who will be eligible for the NCE housing draw. Rising juniors and seniors will have priority for their current college affiliation (First affiliates have priority for NCW), and all juniors and seniors may apply to the NCE draw.

Current students who choose to live in a residential college as juniors and seniors will not be required to purchase a board plan but may do so if they wish. (This applies to the Classes of 2023 and 2024, and to the Class of 2025 when they become juniors.) Board plan requirement updates will be provided for the Class of 2026. 

More information on NCE and NCW, the spring room draw, and your housing and dining options can be found here. We invite you to email your questions to [email protected] and to attend the Housing Office’s in-person and virtual information sessions in the coming weeks (dates and times to come).

We look forward to the enhanced opportunities to build community and to strengthen student support these changes will provide.

Wishing you a joyful conclusion to Wintersession and Winter Break, and a productive beginning to the new semester.

Our best,

Dean Jill Dolan, V.P. W. Rochelle Calhoun
and the Council of College Heads