Residence Life: more room, lower cost and new web system

Less can be more, if you consider on-campus housing at UW-Superior.

Although the costs are the lowest in the entire four-year UW system, students are getting more for their money as a result of recent changes in resident housing.

One is “Live@UWS,” which went live last month. After in-depth research, Residence Life staff found a company, Simplicity, that would work well for their faculty and the student body. The new arrangement, a 24/7 online and web-based housing management system, is tied into the campus database system, allowing students to sign in with the same credentials as their campus email or ehive account. All demographic information from the university data system is already embedded into the system, making the process quicker and easier. The product has built-in features, and has been personalized with pictures of students and campus logos.

“It’s cool because this is the first time for Residence Life to be tied into the campus database system,” said Mickey Fitch, assistant director of Residence Life. “Live@ UWS is great for students because it’s easy and quick.” It retains previous capabilities and adds others, such as roommate matching, she said.

Within a month of its Feb. 5 startup, Residence Life had received 330 contracts for next year, compared with less than 100 last year at the same time, Fitch said. “Our goal is 900 residents for next year, so we are already a third of the way there,” she said.

Apart from Live@UWS, UW-Superior will be offering 220 single rooms for next year – three times the number of single rooms offered before. With the Ross-Hawkes renovation, there will be more spaces available on campus; and because the student population isn’t growing tremendously, more students will be approved for single rooms.

In addition, the 21-and-older floor will be brought back to fourth-floor Ross, and 16 suites will be available in Ross-Hawkes for next year. Curran-McNeil and Ostrander will be entirely dedicated to first-year students, and the second floor of Curran-McNeil will no longer be substance-free.

Crownhart will remain the same with sophomore, junior, senior and grad students, and Ostrander will keep its the single-gender floors.

Then there’s the junior/senior 20 percent discount. “Not a lot of students are familiar with (it),” Fitch said. “It’s a pretty tremendous discount when you think about the overall cost.”

Roughly one in seven juniors and seniors choose to live on campus. With the Ross-Hawkes renovation complete next year, there will be room for 1,100 students, as opposed to 800 from previous years.

Housing costs for next year will see a 2.5 percent increase, which equates to an additional $40 a semester. However, UW-Superior had one of the lowest increases in the state, with other UW schools seeing an increase of 3 to 4 percent. Superior’s housing cost will remain the lowest of the entire UW four-year system.

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