Residence Life offers students new housing option in spring

Centennial Hall is a residence hall that is not operating at full capacity this semester. Gender inclusive housing for every student.” will be available next academic year. Photo from TMN Archives

Enrollment Management and Marketing is now in charge of Residence Life and Sodexo, bringing in new goals and working on a gender inclusive housing option.

This gender inclusive housing option will be available to students next academic year through a new, more mobile friendly, housing portal.

The Board of Governors approved the gender inclusive housing option over the summer.

When using the new housing portal, students can indicate if they are interested in gender inclusive housing. Students who are interested in gender inclusive housing will be able to search for spaces with other people who are also interested in that experience. 

“I’m excited that the Board of Governors and the president of Truman, this summer, have approved a change to housing policy,” Jamie Van Boxel, director of Residence Life, said. “We will now have a gender inclusive housing option available for students who apply to return to campus next year.”

The gender inclusive housing option will allow for students to live together on campus regardless of biological sex. The intention of the new option is to allow for students of all gender identities and expressions a safe space to live on campus.

The gender inclusive housing is optional, so students will not be required to participate if they choose not to. Students must indicate when applying for housing that they are interested in the gender inclusive housing option to be placed in a gender inclusive space.

This new Residence Life option comes with another big change. Residence Life has been moved from the Student Affairs department to Enrollment Management and Marketing. Sodexo has also moved to Enrollment Management and Marketing.

The change was made because of the large impact Residence Life has on potential students.

One of the goals of Enrollment Management and Marketing for ResLife and Sodexo is to improve communication and getting messages out to the community. Marketing for the dining options in the Student Union Building to the Kirksville community is also an upcoming goal.

“There is an advantage to opening up some of those retail opportunities to people in the community,” Tyana Lange, vice president for Enrollment Management and Marketing said. “From a financial point of view, that means we are bringing in additional revenue which goes on to support students.”

A new retention effort has been seen, with Sue Thomas, president of Truman, going to the residence halls throughout the first two weeks of classes for various activities with the students. The goal of this effort is to give students the opportunity to feel connected to the University during their first few weeks of being here.

“We know that students who are connected are students that stay and are successful,” Lange said. “And that’s our goal for every student.”