SMC to hold informational meeting on student housing

Published 6:36 pm Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Current and new students attending Southwestern Michigan College in the spring have an opportunity to tour the college’s on-campus living facilities on Saturday, during the school’s biannual housing information day.

Taking place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., representatives from the school’s student housing offices will guide interested students and parents around the three dormitory buildings. The meeting is open to any interested student.

“We encourage students to just show up, with any family members who want to tag along,” said Jason Wilt, the college’s director of housing.

Attendees will have a chance to ask questions during the meeting, and will receive information about pricing, payment options and dorm living from representatives present.

The SMC housing department has held similar informational meetings about twice a year since the opening of the first dormitory, McKenzie Hall, in 2009. An average of about 50 students usually attend the meetings, a number that Wilt expects Saturday’s meeting to easily reach.

“90 percent of the time, the students are absolutely impressed by what they see during the tour,” Wilt said. “They usually have a perception of what on-campus living is like, and then they see what kind of experience we offer and our blown away.”

Unlike many traditional college dorms, the three living halls offered by SMC have private bedrooms, with students having the choice between two or four-bedroom suites. Each room offers a kitchen area, complete with stove, refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher.

“We usually have parents asking when they can move in after they see where their children will be staying,” Wilt said.

The college charges $2,900 a semester to students living in a four-bedroom unit, and $3,500 a semester to students living in a two-bedroom one.

This was the first semester that White Hall, the third housing building, has been operational. Like the other two facilities, all 130 rooms are currently occupied.

“Our goal was to give students the full college experience at an affordable price,” Wilt said. “The strong demand we’ve seen so far shows that we’re doing exactly that.”

Currently, around 60 percent of the 390 students living on-campus originally lived in cities within 45 minutes of the Dowagiac campus, Wilt said. However, the number of students hailing from locations outside the region who elect to live at the facilities continue to grow.

Saturday’s housing meeting will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will take place in Room 804 at the Zollar Sports Center, located on the Dowagiac campus.