Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

    Policy keeps students in dorms

    Loyola trying to become ‘residential campus’

    In an effort to bolster falling retention rates, administrators recently instituted a policy requiring that students live on campus during their sophomore year. This new policy will come into effect next fall.

    Robert Reed, director of Residential Life, said the Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., university president, wants to make the university a “residential campus.” Through his research of other schools’ residential policies, mostly other Jesuit universities, Reed said universities with the majority of students living on campus have higher retention rates.

    “Students living on campus their freshman year get very well-connected to the university,” Reed said. “They make social contacts, excel in their academics. But we seem to be lax when it comes to their sophomore year.”

    The Cohort Retention Rate Table, a chart the university publishes showing retention percentages from fall to fall semester, provides data from the colleges of Business, Humanities and Natural Sciences, Music and Fine Arts, and Social Sciences.

    According to Cindy Caire, associate director of Institutional Research at Loyola, the percentages comprise all full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students admitted for the spring and fall terms.

    “These students are tracked to each subsequent fall semester,” Caire said in an e-mail to The Maroon. “If the students have registered hours in the subsequent fall semesters, they are counted as retained.”

    With 520 freshmen arriving for the fall 2006 semester and 405 of them returning for sophomore year, Loyola’s retention rate for this year’s batch of sophomores stands at 78 percent. This is the second-worst retention rate among sophomores since 1999; the worst numbers are from fall 2004, when sophomore retention stood at 74 percent. For the remaining years since 1999, the rate hovers at around 82 percent.

    According to Marcia “Cissy” Petty, vice president for Student Affairs and associate provost, administrators introduced the plan requiring sophomores to live on campus almost two years ago and initiated the plan at the President’s Cabinet.

    “There will be exceptions to the policy, and those are currently under discussion,” Petty said.

    Lori Zawistowski, interim dean of Admissions and Enrollment Management, said students from outside the New Orleans metropolitan area will be affected by this change.

    She said the Office of Admissions has been working to share this information with all prospective students.

    Petty said the university will concentrate mostly on providing living spaces for freshmen and sophomores, but there will still be places for juniors and seniors. She said there has been discussion completely renovate Cabra Hall and to add additional housing for upper-class students to the top of the Danna Center when it is renovated.

    The College of Humanities and Natural Sciences held two unsuccessful meetings March 13 and March 27 to address sophomores’ concerns with the university. No one attended the first meeting, and the second meeting was cancelled.

    Kathryn Conroy, chemistry senior and president of the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences, said all students were invited to attend, even if they are not sophomores in the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences.

    Some students, especially commuter students, say they find it hard to feel welcome on campus.

    Arian Randolph, marketing and sales sophomore at Xavier University New Orleans, attended Loyola her freshman year. She said the university’s new residential policy will not help the retention numbers – it will only make the students feel trapped, compelling them to transfer to a university that does not have this same policy.

    Jauné Jackson can be reached at [email protected].

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover

    Comments (0)

    All The Maroon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *