CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 26, 2016 – Southeast Missouri State University students will have several new exciting room and board features to enjoy on campus when the fall 2016 semester begins in August.
The added amenities come as Southeast is projecting an increase of more than 100 Residence Life housing contracts for beginning freshmen over fall 2015. The housing contract increase mirrors favorable enrollment projections for next fall as well, said Dr. Debbie Below, vice president for enrollment management and student success and dean of students. She said the uptick can be attributed to several factors, including a boost in marketing efforts and the recent “Will To Do” brand launch.
Excitement on campus also surrounds the addition of a new Greek Village on the north end of campus, an expansion that will add four houses, over two years, to Southeast’s residence hall system and will accommodate Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu and Sigma Phi Epsilon in its first phase. This new development will help accommodate Southeast’s growing Greek community and, in turn, free up space in the traditional Greek Hill Area for other Greeks chapters to live on Southeast’s current Greek housing area.
Next school year, students also will have the opportunity to stay in their residence hall rooms over breaks, dine in a reimagined Towers Café and enjoy the newly opened Panda Express. They also can look forward to upgrades coming to Chick-Fil-A in 2017 while continuing to flock to the recent expansions of Subway and Starbucks on the north campus.
These upgrades are among highlights outlined by Below when she presented an FY17 room and board rate proposal approved by the Southeast Board of Regents today.
The Regents approved a modest combined room and board rate increase of 2.3 percent for fiscal 2017 after student groups gave their support to the proposal. The average room rate increase will be only 1.51 percent, with the annual room rates in nine of the University’s 13 residence halls increasing by just $30. Board rates for fiscal 2017 will see a 3.53 percent rise.
The full rate schedule is available at http://semo.edu/residencelife/halls/index.html.
The room rate increase in nine of Southeast’s residence halls includes an additional $30 to provide students access to their rooms during breaks. Below said a growing number of students have requested permission to remain on campus during breaks with increased demand coming from international students, non-Missouri residents and Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts students. Revenue generated from the increase will be used to cover student labor to pay additional resident assistants and to open front desk operations periodically during breaks. Currently, students pay $25 per night, up to a maximum of $250 (10 nights), to remain in their rooms during breaks.
The Regents today also increased rates for community-style rooms in Towers East and South by 5.35 percent, bringing those rates to $4,530 for next academic year. The adjustment was made after students had expressed concern about the growing cost differential between the highest price suite-style and the lowest price community-style residence hall rooms, Below said.
The Board approved a 1.47 percent increase in room rates for Dearmont, bringing rates to $5,530 in fall 2016. Dearmont is a residence hall centrally located on campus along Normal Avenue that accommodates single rooms only. Private room rates continue to be 1.5 times the rate of a double room.
Cheney Hall, along North Henderson Street, will remain offline in fiscal 2017 for structural repairs and renovation, Below said.
Along with a discussion of Residence Life, the Regents today approved a new board rate plan for FY17 consistent with the terms of the University’s new dining contract with Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services approved by the Board in February 2015. Under that contract, Below said Chartwells has committed to a $6.575 million capital investment to enhance programs and renovate facilities.
The first phase of those improvements included expansion of the Subway brand in Scully Building and a new coffee concept in the same building, which were completed last summer. A popular new venue, Panda Express, opened earlier this month in the University Center, and Towers Café will see extensive renovations in summer 2016, she said. Chick-fil-A, located in the University Center, along with the University Center kitchen are scheduled for upgrades in summer 2017.