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Shepherd University has taken a step toward easing the overcrowding in its residence halls by building two apartment-style complexes on West Campus. Construction for Birch and Maple halls began in May 2005 as a way to meet the housing needs of upper-class students, according to Dr. Richard Stevens, assistant vice president for student affairs, residence life and student activities.

For $2,500 a semester, the upperclassmen get a completely furnished apartment to share with at least three other Shepherd students. Each unit has two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and a bathroom that features two sinks, a shower and a toilet with separate doors. All utilities including the telephone, Internet and cable are paid for in the fee, as well as the use of the laundry room located on the first floor of each complex. There are also six-person apartments available.

Birch and Maple residents pay one inclusive bill each semester, which would not happen if they were living in an off-campus apartment. Although these students have more space to clean, health and safety inspections are conducted by residence life staff to ensure that the units remain safe and sanitary. As for cooking, students in these halls are not required to purchase a meal plan. They can, however, choose from any of the plans if they wish to do so eliminating their need to cook.

Another aspect of apartment-style living for Shepherd students is that they can remain on campus during school breaks. Although the contracts for these housing units have not yet been finalized, it appears that students will be able to stay in their spaces throughout the summer as long as they will be returning the following semester. There will be some consolidation, however, to prevent one student from living in a room alone all summer long. This is particularly important since Birch and Maple halls will now be the home of all summer school students residing on campus.

Ben Adducchio, a senior and Maple resident, enjoys his new living space. "It's great being able to break in these new apartments," he says. Adducchio, who lives in one of the 12 six-person units, which have slightly different features to accommodate the two additional roommates, went on to say, "I recommend every student live here for at least one year." According to the senior, this type of housing makes students more responsible because students living there have to cook and clean up for themselves along with preparing for each of their classes.

"It's a good experience," says Molly Land, a junior and Maple resident. She believes that this type of complex allows students feel comfortable because they are still in a hall setting, but with more independence. "You're pretty much independent. You don't have to go across campus to get food or down the hall to take a shower."

Bethany Davidson

Maple Hall

Molly Land (r.) and her roommate Tiffany Acker in the Maple Hall lobby.

Click here to view photos of the Birch and Maple Halls ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house.

Shepherd University Residence Life Office

Shepherd University | P.O. Box 3210 | Shepherdstown, West Virginia | 25443-3210 | 304-876-5000 | 800-344-5231 | FAX 304-876-3101
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