The Signal

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Friday April 19th

Travers and Wolfe Halls update: The College’s plans for new housing

<p>Students have been confused by the College’s plans for new housing following the President’s email last Spring that the Towers would close. (Photo courtesy Shane Gillespie / Staff Photographer)</p>

Students have been confused by the College’s plans for new housing following the President’s email last Spring that the Towers would close. (Photo courtesy Shane Gillespie / Staff Photographer)

By Nicholas Steinhauser and Matthew Kaufman
Staff Writer and Features Editor

Over the past few years, the aging Travers and Wolfe have been losing popularity among students and now have their upper floors closed to residents. Not much has been known about the Towers’ future following the announcement last year that they would soon be replaced.

President Kathryn Foster had previously announced that the College would close down the Towers completely and replace them with a newer housing building. The College administration has decided to slowly begin this process by reducing the usage of the towers and shutting some of its floors down, Vice President for Student Affairs Sean Stallings explained in an interview.

Since other buildings across campus aren’t fully occupied, students have been moved to these locations instead. However, if there is an urgent need to separate students, such as during quarantine, the currently closed areas of the Towers can be opened again.

As of now, the College is exploring opportunities with private developers in regards to a new residential building or community. This is similar to the approach the College took to the construction of Campus Town.

“The newer housing likely would be for upper class students,” Stallings explained, “and then first year students would get better housing that is ultimately vacated by the current upper class students.” 

The projected opening of the new housing facilities is the fall of 2026, Stallings said. This new building would most likely be on the perimeter of campus to allow for the Towers to continue to be used during construction.

Many students and parents have also expressed concern about housing being guaranteed for incoming students in the future. Though juniors and seniors are not officially guaranteed housing, Stallings said that the College has “historically been able to accommodate” all students who want housing — including juniors and seniors.

In the past year, student enrollment at the College has increased significantly, which brings concerns about there being a tighter demand for housing; however, Stallings said this increase has so far not correlated with a higher demand for housing. 

“If the demand for housing were to spike, we would use the spaces in the Towers,” he explained.

Stallings added that before each new academic school year, the housing department knows how many incoming freshmen they need to accommodate with housing.

In recent years, juniors and seniors who want to live in a residence hall have had few issues in finding a place to live; however, due to the college’s goal of increasing student enrollment, it may be harder for them in the future.

If this problem were to occur, Stallings said that the Housing Department would use a lottery system to decide housing for upperclassmen, which is a process the College has previously employed. 

“We would have the lottery numbers that would come out, and some people would not make the cut,” Stallings explained.

Stallings added, however, that those who did not obtain housing in the lottery would then join the housing waitlist, where they would most likely be offered housing prior the start of the semester, due to those who decided not to seek housing.

Another alternative would be to open the areas of towers that are currently closed, Stallings said. 

“If returning students all of a sudden take up a lot of beds for next year, that means we may just move up a floor or two in the Towers,” Stallings said.

While the housing situation may be complicated in the short term as construction begins, the future should hopefully bring more options and improved locations for students.

“Our goal is to provide better housing for students of the College of New Jersey through the exploration of potential private developers who can build quality housing faster and cheaper than we would normally do,” said Stallings.




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