SNHU has gained a ton of new family members at the beginning of the year. The class of 2022 is SNHU’s biggest class to date. With a large class comes some complications, and for this year, those complications revolved around housing and the dining hall. At the beginning of this year, SNHU was at 100.7% capacity for housing accommodations. As a result, common rooms in Washington Hall and New Castle Hall were temporarily transformed into quads to house the additional students. Freshmen have been placed all over the campus ranging from New Castle to the apartments in Lincoln and Monadnock which are usually only used to house upperclassmen. Furthermore, during certain times of the day, the dining hall is often jam-packed. Students may be in line for a longer amount of time when ordering their food or waiting to pay for it.
General Manager of SNHU Dining Services Dan Vanavery commented on how he is taking on the challenge of the surplus of students this year. Sodexo has hired more staff to increase the efficiency of their services for students. He also states that by adding in more staff it allows for more breaks to happen, and with the additional breaks, there’s less stress put on the staff.
When asked about wait times for food and lines VanAvery said, “Our goal is to get students their food as soon as possible to keep things moving.”
VanAvery has stated that more improvements to the dining hall and how students order food are on the way. To keep the staff from burning out in one area, Sodexo is having its employees undergo cross-training. This allows them to work in a different station like the Fiesta Zone, Salad Station or the Ultimate Deli.
Associate Director Matt Petersons also commented on how Residence Life was able to make room for the student overflow at the beginning of this year. He explained that Kingston was able to accommodate for the loss of the lower suites, as well as the townhouses that were torn down. He also explained that SNHU is already gearing up for next year’s incoming class. The overall capacity for the year was 2,017 beds, but after their adjustments, SNHU’s total capacity is now 2,021 beds. However, the current amount of beds in use is 1, 960. Petersons stated that in some cases, certain spaces used as temporary housing were turned into full-time living spaces for students. When Tuckerman hall opened, a triple space had been designed as a quad allowing SNHU to house additional students in these triple spaces. With Hampton, there is an apartment that is being utilized as housing for students as well. They turned one of the bedrooms into a double and left one as a single. For a few rooms in Washington, the layout of the room allowed for a third person to move into a double.
Residence Life works closely with Admissions and the University Campus President to project trends and possibilities for the future.