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Seniority rules at Quad complex

Nov. 18, 2005

Jessie Solomon/Lariat Staff
Sarah Tinkler, a Baltimore, Md., senior, has lived in the Quadrangle Apartments for two years. Many residents won't be able to live there next year because it will soon be converted into graduate student housing.
assistant city editor

The Quadrangle apartment complex near campus will be converted to graduate student housing by the summer, said Dr. Laine Scales, associated dean of the Baylor Graduate School. Scales announced the plan to the graduate council and the graduate program director on Thursday.

"We started with this idea a year ago," Scales said. "I came to the Graduate School last August and realized a lot of graduate students were interested in graduate housing."

The new graduate housing complex, which would not be overseen by Campus Living and Learning, will be at the current Quadrangle Apartments on 1825 S. Fifth St. Graduate students will be able to move in on June 1.

"We wanted to build a graduate living and learning community. We talked to different apartment owners and finally worked out a deal with Brothers Management, who owns the Quadrangle," Scales said.

Out of the five Quadrangle buildings, graduate students will inhabit three right away, Scales said. Eventually, all will be used for graduate housing.

"We regret any inconvenience for anyone living there, but it was the only way we could house graduate students in one unit. (The Graduate School) has offered to pay for transfer fees for those moving into other units," Scales said.

Many students currently living in the Quadrangle said they weren't given much warning about the upcoming change.

"They left a piece of paper stuck to the door. Not really very pleasant," Kendra Wharton, a Gonzales junior, said.

Wharton, who shares the apartment with her sister Mikaelia, a senior, will not be forced to move out because Mikaelia will be a graduate student next year.

"We're very glad that it did work out for us, but our next-door neighbors ... are having to move. They are having to find a new place to live," Kendra said. "It's just hard because you think 'I've finally got an apartment. ... I'm going to get to stay.'"

Bracy Hill, a South Bend Ind., graduate student, and his wife, Rapture, will move into the Quadrangle Apartments where he will serve as a community leader.

Hill helped arrange the transition plans and announced the opportunity to graduate students lst week.

"We sent an e-mail survey to graduate students about a month ago to see if anyone would be interested," Hill said. "We started accepting applications last week. We still have a few slots open but have received many (applications)."

Hill said many graduate students were able to live in limited on-campus housing or were forced to find housing in houses or apartment complexes that weren't near campus.

"There were a vast amount of grad students, over 1,200 or so, who didn't have the opportunity to live on campus because they had families or pets, which didn't fit the standards for on-campus living," Hill said.

Hill said he believes a housing complex specifically for graduate students will increase community support and promote interdisciplinary conversation.

"This opens up new opportunities for graduate housing, to fill a gap in regards to needing community in graduate students," Hill said.

There will be an outdoor pool at the complex, as well as an all-purpose room where students can gather for social events, conduct seminars or study, Scales said.

"Obviously it's not a perfect fit for every graduate student, but it creates more opportunities for graduate students, meets the needs of more," Hill said.

Staff writer Analiz Gonzalez contributed to this report.