Section: archive

North Campus Housing Application Requires Minimum GPA, Good Judicial Standing

North Campus Housing Application Requires Minimum GPA, Good Judicial Standing

By Lili Martinez

Despite the bitter winter and the seemingly permanent construction zones between Bexley Apartments and Caples Hall, the wait is finally over. Kenyon’s newest housing project, the aptly named North Campus Apartments, will be occupied by next fall. But students beware: these apartments won’t be easy to snap up. GPA requirements and scarcity of available apartments for the fall of 2011 will make the North Campus Apartments an extraordinarily hot commodity.

In the first week of February, an application for the Apartments was distributed to rising seniors, encouraging them to apply if they were in good academic and judicial standing. In addition, a cumulative GPA recommendation of 3.3 or higher, which on a letter scale is a B+ average, will be factored into the decision. Although students with lower than a 3.3 GPA can apply, they must “give a brief explanation of their academic history and its impact on their ability to live successfully in the North Campus Apartments,” according to the application.

While the newly renovated Morgan Apartments have had a GPA requirement in the past, that element was eliminated from the application, so the new North Campus Apartments are currently the only apartments with an application process that includes a GPA component. Housing and Residential Life has been working with a Housing Review Committee to develop the application for the new apartments, and according to Alicia Dugas, assistant dean of students for housing and residential life, the committee recommended that the GPA component be added. “It was a recommendation to our office and we did accept that,” she said. “We did put on the application that if you don’t have a 3.3, let us know why. We wanted to do that because it’s important that if a student just had one bad semester … we want to give a lot of grace to that and be able to read each student’s application individually. I don’t want grades from one semester to affect someone’s chances of living there – it’s about the overall candidate rather than one piece of the issue.”

Applications were due on Monday, Feb. 14 by 4:00 p.m., and Dugas said the turnout was impressive. 11 groups or four or eight people submitted applications, making the process a competitive one. “It’s actually pretty competitive and I think students are really excited about it,” Dugas said. “It’s a great turnout … we’re really excited about the students and they seem to have submitted some great applications.” A committee of faculty, staff and students will review the anonymous applications and determine “who is eligible and who is ineligible to live there, not in order of who should get what,” said Dugas. Eligible students will be notified by email, and on Friday, Feb. 18, there will be a “housing draw” (distinct from the housing lottery that occurs in April). According to Dugas, each group will be assigned a number, and the numbers will be placed “in a hat, and we’ll draw a number and say, for example, group 9 gets the first dibs on which apartment [they’d] like.” When all of the apartments have been allocated, the draw will select groups for the waiting list.

One apartment has been set aside for a Community Advisor, who will serve the North Campus Apartments community and will be able to choose his or her own roommates. “The CA will be selected and their roommates will be pulled in, and they’ll have to comply with all of the same rules and fill out an application with essays just like everyone else, just so we have it on file so they can’t say, ‘I didn’t know about North Campus Apartments being this way or that,'” Dugas said. A full-time residential staff member will live in another apartment, and two other apartments, one four-person and one eight-person, will be used for themed housing.

According to the application, the last available apartment: “in the interest of the further development of the North Campus Apartments … will be assigned by the College Development Office.” According to President S. Georgia Nugent, this apartment will be used as a “model.” “It would be valuable for development to have kind of a model apartment … as they look for donors that we hope will fund the further development of that complex. That apartment will be available for people to view,” she said. “I’m presuming that it would mean that whoever is living in that apartment has to be prepared to show it.” What is not clear is why the College Development Office was able to assign students to live there who bypassed Housing and Residential Life’s application process.

According to Sarah Kahrl, vice president for college relations, the North Campus Apartments project is dependent upon donors for its completion, and the model apartment is a critical part of the donor process. “The project’s $20 million project cost is substantial and will require significant contributed support from Kenyon alumni and families. To date, we have raised almost $5 million of this goal and intend to continue to fully meet the fund-raising need of the project,” Kahrl said. “This project is unusual in that we will be building the North Campus development in phases, which will allow donors to see completed versions of the units they are considering supporting.” Thus, having a model apartment is essential because it will show donors a life-size version of the project they are considering financing. To fill this apartment, the Development Office has assigned four students to the unit “in conjunction with the Office of Housing and Residential Life, and they will be expected to comply with the academic and conduct standards set forth by the guidelines required for North Campus residence,” Kahrl said. She also explained that after one or two years, college officials expect that the fundraising will be completed and the apartment will be returned “to the regular housing lottery process.”

The North Campus Apartments are three-story townhouses, each holding three apartments of four or eight people each. Most are fully accessible, with full kitchens, living rooms, a guest bathroom on the first floor and single and double rooms available, allowing students to choose an apartment within their price range. Three apartments are available to rising seniors through the application process this year, and more will be available by 2012.

These townhouses represent another option for seniors who are looking for a more realistic living situation, according to Dugas. “Seniors are looking for newer apartments. The full kitchen is a great thing; it’s a great transition to … joining the real world after people graduate,” she said. “I think the setup will be really critical. They can prepare meals for each other, they can host guests and I think it’s a more adult kind of living and developmentally in line with what seniors are looking for.”

The apartments will be wired for cable, but students will need to contact their own cable service and set up a plan to access the service. All apartments will also be equipped with new furniture. The College has been working with an architect to develop a plan for the furnishing of each apartment. “We’re working with an architect who met with 30 students and also some professional staff … so students gave a lot of input,” Dugas said. “We’re waiting for them to give us a mockup of what they think should be in there, and how many pieces of furniture there should be.” Bedroom furniture, however, will stay more or less the same. “I assume the bedroom furniture will be the same as what people have experienced in other places. You’re not going to have a California king-size bed in there or anything like that,” Dugas said.

[starbox id=”lili_martinez”]


Comments for this article have closed. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor for publication, please email us at