Beyond the Burg: College creates quarters for recent graduates

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February 1, 2008

11:51 AM

__Institutions create housing to help students transition to career life__

p. Dowling College, located on Long Island, NY, recently proposed the construction of over 1,000 new housing units, some of which would be reserved for college graduates. The project, which will be completed by the next academic year, would allow graduates to continue living on campus until the adjustment from college life to work life could be accomplished.

p. The project also came about in an effort to keep more of the college graduate demographic on Long Island. Recent studies of the area reported that over 62 percent of college graduates claimed to have trouble meeting monthly housing costs on the Island, and a separate study also reported that the population of college graduates between 2000 and 2006 had actually decreased by 20 percent.

p. “We’d like to create an alternative, so that when students graduate, they don’t have to move into their parents’ garages or into their old rooms,” Robert J. Gaffney, president of Dowling College, said.

p. In an environment where multi-family housing only makes up 16 percent of the total housing market, Dowling’s attempt to build living quarters on campus has generated a positive response from students at the college who often have to resort to moving to New York City to find suitable housing.

p. “I think it might be easier after college if you stayed here for a while,” Janika Sundstrom, a sophomore at the college from Finland, said. “[The city] seems a little bit like chaos. I like the calmness here.”

p. In today’s fast-paced work world, many universities have recently attempted to find ways to help students adapt from a life of learning to a life of work.

p. The University of Connecticut is also planning to build hundreds of apartments at its Storrs campus, and the University of Pennsylvania has formalized plans to build 295 on-campus apartments for both graduates and the general public.

p. Internationally, the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University in Canada have also built commercial and residential complexes in an effort to bridge the gap for students.

p. On Long Island, the creation of multifamily housing by contractors and universities has often met with fierce resistance from community leaders who want to keep the suburban feel of the island.

p. “The people who have so vehemently objected to this are the ones who are going to suffer,” Gaffney said, “It’s their grandchildren who are going to live in another state.”

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