The University of Rhode Island Enrollment Services is in the process of collaboratively deciding whether or not one upperclassmen dormitory, Eddy Hall, is going to be shown on tours this coming fall semester of 2015.

While reviewing the plans to show the campus, Dr. Dean Libutti, vice provost for enrollment management, said that in some of the comments, potential students and parents mentioned that the university only shows first-year residence halls. “They would like to learn more about upperclassmen housing options,” he said. In looking at other schools, the collaborating departments discovered that many other schools promote the full on-campus housing experience as opposed to only the first year.

For the one suite that plans to be shown, the students will receive a discount on their housing bill. “We recognize that they are agreeing to show the suite on a daily basis for the year,” Libutti said, “This is a common practice by other schools.” It is not yet decided how much the discount will be. The departments didn’t feel that just showing the first year reflected the true housing and residential life experience at URI.

When asked why Eddy was chosen over the other newer additions to campus, Libutti said that they thought about showing Hillside, Garrahy or Wiley Halls. However, based on the tour route, Eddy seemed to be the most viable option for the pilot. “Eddy has a nice large entrance way with many floors and suites,” he said. Currently, the university shows Browning Hall as the freshman dormitory and will continue to do so.

A statement from John Sears, assistant vice president of Student Affairs and director of Housing and Residential Life, said, “URI offers a variety of housing options for residents that afford additional degrees of independent living as a student progresses through their college career.”

According to the statement, first-year residence halls make it easier for students to meet other residents in their community. Semi-suites and suites offer students an additional degree of independence in their sophomore and junior years. Upperclassmen students also have the option to reside in the apartments on campus, equipped with kitchens providing them with the most independence and preparing them for life after college. “We think it is beneficial for prospective students to see the different housing options available across their entire URI experience,” said Sears.

The plans for showing Eddy Hall on tours include showing just one suite on the first floor. These plans would only move forward if the residents agree to be part of the tour and all arrangements would be made prior to any tours.

“We would hope that students would keep the suite clean and appropriate for touring,” he said, “However, seeing they are college students, we do not expect perfection.” Erin Earle, with admissions at the university, will help coordinate the details with the students. It is likely that a list of expectations will be put together for the students if this pilot continues to move forward.

“This is still a work in progress,” said Libutti. It is a collaborative effort within the offices of Admission, Enrollment Management, and Housing and Residential Life.

Once a final decision is made, if this new tour plan is implemented, Eddy will start being shown beginning in Fall 2015. The residence hall will be shown daily during tour season.