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What’s New in Graduate School?

Sandra Elien

Have you ever considered where graduate students were living this semester? How about the number of graduate students actually dorming? Jennifer Fuoco, the director of residence life, has informed the Pioneer that there are currently 92 graduate students living on campus and that the total number of graduate students living on campus has changed over the years. Fuoco added that, “This number has changed from year to year and is currently up by six from last year at this time.”

Various factors can determine why most graduate students choose to live off-campus.  Sean Manning, a graduate student studying medical microbiology said that “since [he] lives near the school, he doesn’t see the point in living on campus.” Jessica Blumenthal, a graduate student studying social work, agreed with Manning. Blumenthal said that she doesn’t live on campus because she “lives 30 minutes from the school, so for me, it is not worth paying for housing on campus when I can live at home for free.” Although their reasons seem plausible, living on campus can also have its advantages.

Blumenthal went on to say,  “During my undergrad., I was in Maryland and paid for housing, both in dorms and in an apartment, so I already had the experience of living somewhere else.”

The director of residence life also provided a tentative explanation as to why graduate students choose to live on campus. Fuoco said, “living on campus seems to appeal most to graduate students who are enrolling in graduate coursework immediately after finishing their Bachelor’s degrees.  For students who have been out of the residence halls and away from campus life for a year or more, the idea of living in a residence hall, having a roommate, and sharing a community bathroom may no longer be something that works with their lifestyles or schedules.  Some graduate students are also completing their coursework while working full-time and may choose to live closer to their workplace.”

Though living off-campus may be suitable for someone seeking a different experience of being in another environment that is more private and confined, few graduate students agree that living on campus can be an advantage. A graduate student, who wished to remain anonymous, said that when “you live on campus, [you] meet a lot of people and don’t have to deal with all the traffic of commuting, and you get more involved with school related activities. And, living on campus also allows you to work.”

As you can see, there are many things that can influence a person’s choice in deciding whether to dorm or not.  One can agree that graduate students, although one may  think there are none on campus, do make up a significant percentage of the student population on campus. If you still unsure about whom the graduate students are, try networking through the residence halls; you bound to come across a graduate student more quickly than you would think.

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