Burrstone House, recently known as the “Sophomore Year Experience,” is closed as of this year and is being used as a storage facility. Questions and rumors have been circulating around campus regarding the college’s decision to close down a dorm that has been a major housing option for years.
Jeffery Gates, senior vice president for Student Life and Enrollment Management, said the discussions regarding the housing started after the college consulted students for their opinion on the dorm options. Gates said shutting down Burrstone for the semester was the best decision.
“We have been listening to students who wanted a living experience that more relates to what we have developed at Pioneer Village,” he said. “In addition, we heard from students that they did not like crossing the street as it was often unsafe. And finally, in the winter, students often complained about the conditions of the nearby properties that were not maintained.”
Gates also said many more students prefer to live in Pioneer Village, Tower and Bell Hall versus Burrstone, which played a big role in the decision to shut down Burrstone.
Scott Nonemaker, the executive director for Student Living and College Engagement, said Burrstone’s future remains undetermined. However, Nonemaker said the dorm’s closing this semester will help the college save on resources, which will ultimately benefit the students.
The college does not own Burrstone House, but it leases it. If UC chooses to stop leasing it and has no future plans for the dorm, Burrstone House may never become a housing option again for Utica College.
Jamey Olesen is a senior at Utica College studying Health Studies who lived in Burrstone House during her sophomore year. She disagrees with the decision to shut down the dorm.
“It was cool to have our own bathroom and it was definitely bigger than the freshman dorm,” Olesen said.
Olesen enjoyed the convenience of being across the street from the gas station and Dunkin’ Donuts.
“But it was kind of a far walk to campus so I would drive when the weather got bad,” she said. “But I think it was a stupid idea that the school isn’t housing students there anymore because there’s a lot of students that go here and there is always a struggle with housing students,” she said.
Burrstone House has capacity to house up to 150 students but is currently empty and being used for storage space.