Saturday, August 25th, 2012
A full house
Lake Campus begins semester system with waiting list for new apartments
By Amy Kronenberger
Freshman Steve Blei of Covington unpacks at his apartment at Knapke Villas on Fr. . .
The new housing complex at Wright State University-Lake Campus is full as 28 students moved in on Friday.
Those students, along with others, are enjoying move-in festivities such as a luau and scavenger hunt this weekend. Classes begin on Monday.
Knapke Villas opened in October and were about half full last year. The building consists of six furnished apartments, each of which can hold five to six students. The apartments have either four- or five bedrooms, a living room, full kitchen, washer and dryer and two bathrooms.
The new residents, 26 freshmen and two returning students, moved in between 1-6 p.m. on Friday with the assistance of many yellow-shirted volunteers.
Incoming freshmen and friends Steve Blei, Shaina Grilliot and Brandon Hedrick, all from Covington, said they chose to attend the campus because of its affordability and the new villas.
"I thought it was really neat, and the price is better than the main campus," Blei, a business major, said.
Grilliot, a psychology major and Blei's girlfriend, said she likes the idea of living near the lake.
"They (apartments) are right up by the water; I love the water," she said.
Hedrick, who hasn't decided on a major yet, said he loves the location.
"It's close to home, but I can still get away," he said. "It's the perfect distance."
All three students plan to transfer to the Dayton campus in two years.
Sandi Holdheide, campus director of student services and public relations, said five students remain on a waiting list for housing. She said the list and future lists will help determine when a second building should be constructed.
London native Lucas Miller was hired as the full-time community director for the housing unit. While living in one of the units, Miller will supervise residents and manage day-to-day operations, Holdheide said.
Along with the success of the housing complex, freshmen enrollment has increased this year, dean Bonnie Mathies said. Mathies was unsure of the total number of students expected to attend this year.
"I feel comfortable where we are," she said. "We might be down a bit, but it won't be anything critical."
Mathies said some students graduated early last year and thus won't be returning.
"A lot of people worked to graduate early so they wouldn't have to adjust their schedules to the new semester system (this year)," she said.
The University System of Ohio requested all two- and four-year state universities switch from quarters to semesters to allow for seamless transferability between universities, according to Herb Dregalla, Wright State University director of semester conversion.
The school year will consist of two 14-week semesters instead of three 10-week quarters.
Wright State University, the University of Cincinnati, the Ohio State University and Ohio University were the only four-year Ohio universities on a quarter system. The four schools all agreed to make the transition this year. Additionally, all two-year colleges changed this year too.
"From my perspective, it has moved along well," Mathies said. "But the proof in the pudding will be next week when the kids are in their classes with syllabus in hand."
The campus' newest bachelor's program, mechanical engineering, has seen great success, Mathies said. School officials wanted a minimum of 25 students in the program the first year.
"We had 66 by the end of the first year, and we have 36 incoming students this year," she said. "Now it seems we have to rush to sustain it, which we will ... it's been tremendously successful. We're obviously filling a need in this area."
Mathies said the campus is adding a program that allows more associate degree holders to work toward a bachelor's degree by taking core classes.
"We're going through the last step right now (of) waiting for approval from the (Ohio) Board of Regents," she said. "All the coursework is approved, but we can't say we have (the program) yet."