How Student Housing's Bringing Sexy Back
Student housing is sizzling in Texas and Bisnow is excited to bring you our statewide Texas Student Housing Summit on Sept. 23 at the Hyatt Regency Austin. Here's a taste of what to expect as we delve into the largest student housing project in North America.
SMU's mammoth student housing project included 1,300 beds across five new residence halls along with the upgrade of six existing ones. The project, which took almost five years to complete, opened this fall with the student move-in, says SMU dean of residence life and student housing Troy Behrens (here with his bowling team in training, ages 6, 7, and 8). Starting in 2014, all students are required to live on-campus for their first two years, so the university needed to expand to accommodate that requirement, Troy says. Today, SMU can house 3,200 students (which is about 51% of the undergraduate population).
The new spaces feature more common areas and Wi-Fi throughout to bring students out of their rooms to interact with one another. Troy says studies show that if a student feels a sense of belonging, it keeps them connected to campus and their grades improve. Student retention rates also increase, and many students can avoid the sophomore slump because they don’t feel lost in the system.
Residence halls today are more about living and learning environments and less a place simply to lay your head at night, Troy says. (Pictured is student move-in day this fall.) Another relatively new concept at SMU is the faculty-in-residence for the student housing facilities. Faculty members and their families (including Fido and Fluffy) live in the residence hall, providing a more family-like atmosphere. It allows the students to form connections with professors and feel less homesick, too. To learn more about these exciting projects, please joine us for our statewide Texas Student Housing Summit on Sept. 23 at the Hyatt Regency Austin.