New plans announced for Jeanne Mance

New plans announced for Jeanne Mance

Greta Bjornson, News Editor

Jeanne Mance is becoming housing for UVM juniors and seniors.

Journey to Independence, a new residential experience, will be housed in Jeanne Mance Hall starting in fall 2018.

Students in the program will build life skills, connect with the Burlington community and transition into adulthood, according to the ResLife website.

Students will also receive training on how to handle finances and form a career with help from the Career Center and the Office of Student and Community Relations.  

Rafael Rodriguez, director of ResLife, said that the program was formed because of student interest.

It caters to the student who is invested in their career and wants to live off campus, but is not quite ready yet, Rodriguez said.

Journey to Independence will be open to 150 residents and will be substance-free like other residence halls. It will also have community aides and leaders, whose roles are currently being developed, Rodriguez said.

Junior Rachel Frankenfield said the substance-free component may lead to incidents with residents.

“I anticipate opposition from students over 21 and a quite possibly higher number of related conduct cases in the coming years,” Frankenfield said.

The program will be open to any students who have met their four-semester on campus living requirement and do not have more than one conduct incident.

“It’s important that we have appealing housing options for students beyond their sophomore year,” SGA President Chris Petrillo said. “I am curious as to the marketability of living on campus for many students considering the desire for independence that many hold.”

Rodriguez said Jeanne Mance was selected to house Journey to Independence because of its location.

The hall is close to downtown, but also is an independent space that would not impact other learning communities and is “strategically positioned,” Rodriguez said.

Jeanne Mance has a reputation for being one of the less popular residence halls, junior Sophie Peterson said.

“It has sort of always been known as the ‘shadiest’ dorm in that of all the dorms, it’s the one that has the atmosphere closest to a crack house,” she said.

No costs have been determined yet for the program, but all triples will be eliminated in the building and more information about construction should be available in November, Rodriguez said.

Frankenfield said Journey to Independence fills a void in UVM housing, but she is concerned about lack of interest in the program because it is located in Jeanne Mance.