New semester, new residence hall?

Updates to CWRU housing options

Grace Johnson, News Editor

Starting a new semester can be exciting, especially with the prospect of new housing. While construction on Southside ensures that the area is never devoid of noise, the progress is evident. Once just a large hole in the ground, the area has received some very exciting attention, which includes the construction of a foundation and walls. 

For those of you unaware or unfamiliar with this topic, housing and residence life have begun the construction of two new residence halls in the South Residential Village at Case Western Reserve University. They will be located at the intersection of Adelbert and Murray Hill Road. These halls will house around 600 new students, beginning in the fall of 2024, when construction is expected to be complete. This project was created to accommodate the growing number of CWRU students, as President Eric Kaler has vowed to raise the admissions numbers to generate more funding for research projects.

This semester has ushered in even more housing options, including the acquisition of the newly-built Monroe Apartments, located in Little Italy behind the University Circle Police Department headquarters. These apartments are available to students as part of their university housing options starting this semester for upperclass students.

When asked why these apartments were leased by the university, Associate Director of Residence Life Devin Fabian stated, “It arose out of the need of additional housing to ensure that upperclass students for next year have a larger mass of housing to avoid things like last spring from happening again. People overwhelmingly want to live on campus and this provides almost 100 additional beds to meet that need.” With a growing population of CWRU students comes a growing need for more housing options, which is where the Monroe Apartments came into play.

While these apartments are part of the university housing options, they are not a traditional residence hall that houses Resident Assistants (RA) and a Residential Community Director (RCD). Rather, they are part of a “shift towards creating a fourth experience track, sort of a 3A under [Upperclass Community Experience] that provides one foot on campus and one off where there is more autonomy,” says Fabian. 

This housing option will instead have a Graduate Residential Director (GRD) that acts similarly to an RA and RCD combination. They will be there to help residents with some issues and provide guidance as needed—however, there is also a full-time property manager who acts as a traditional leasing agent by providing keys and answering questions about the building. In addition, there is also a live-in maintenance staff worker who will attend to building repairs as needed. 

However, Fabian also made it clear that this is a three-semester contract, beginning in spring 2023 and extending to the following two semesters. From there, beginning in the fall of 2024, the residential experience in various communities will probably change, which means that the Monroe apartments will likely no longer be necessary. 

The Monroe Apartments serve as an important transition residence option as the campus population grows and the need for housing follows suit—especially after the frustration felt by community members and parents last spring, when upperclass housing was no longer guaranteed. The housing and residence life offices are working to ensure that this does not happen again and that the needs of students are being met. 

This is just the beginning of a housing saga that will continue on for the next several years. Stay tuned to read updates on housing options for the future, and, if you’re lucky, you may get to live in the newly built Monroe Apartments—I know I want to.