Juniors and seniors looking to find campus housing for next year will have three fewer houses to choose from this year. Aurora, Avon, and Hymnal houses will all become community rental properties in the next school year.

Student Life decided to eliminate these three student houses because between the apartments and small group houses, upperclassmen housing hasn't been filled to capacity in recent years.

“Last year the apartments were full with several small group housing units empty,” said Bill Born, vice president of Student Life. “This year we have the inverse. Between the two, we are not utilizing the space as best we can.”

According to Born, the change in housing is not related to enrollment projections for next year. It is, however, expected to increase revenue for the college.

Before 2005, Aurora, Avon and Hymnal were all community rentals. In 2005, the college renovated Coffman to make it into a small group housing unit, and while it was out of commission, the three houses were introduced as small-group student houses.

Since then, Student Life has kept the three houses in the small group line-up. But now that these houses are no longer needed for students, they will go back to being rental properties until there is enough demand for student housing to rationalize returning them to students.

This reduction in small-group houses will make this year's housing application process much more competitive. The small-group houses used to be the only upperclassman group housing available on campus, which made it competitive to get into. After the apartments were built, small group houses became less of a commodity, but the elimination of three campus houses will likely bring back the competitive aspect of small group housing.

“This is a good thing,” said Chad Coleman, resident director of small group houses, “because the program is designed to reward what we feel are the students most likely to succeed in a shared living experience and intentional community that the program was founded on.”

The elimination of three campus houses still leaves 10 houses to choose from. The application process for campus housing this year will be the same as it was last year, except that Residence Life will no longer require reference forms from group members.

“As always,” said Coleman, “the groups that feature senior classification, get good grades, are highly involved on campus and have abided by campus standards during their time at GC have the best chances.”

Students interested in applying to live in the apartments or small group housing next year should attend an informational session about them tonight, Thursday, Jan. 27, at 10 p.m. in AD 28.