By Anthony Caporale
In March, Fr. Paul Taylor, O.S.B. and the SVC administration announced that new Honors housing will be available in the fall of 2021 for students in the honors community.
Fr. Brian Boosel, O.S.B., the director of Saint Vincent’s flagship Honors Program, has been working with Taylor, to create the new honors housing. Also involved are Dr. Michael Krom, director of Benedictine Leadership Studies; Dr. Dana Winters, director of Fred Rogers Scholars; Dr. Stephen Jodis, director of STEP Scholars (Science, Technology, Engineering And Mathematics Talent Expansion Program); and Dr. Jason Jividen, director of Aurelius Scholars.
“It is very exciting,” Boosel said. “We have talked about it for a number of years now.”
The Honors housing will be located in Wimmer Hall and will be open to any sophomore, junior or senior who is a member of one of the five components of the Honors community.
“The purpose is to form an intentional academic environment for students. We want to offer more to individuals; to create stronger communities. It will also build friendships that will last a lifetime,” Boosel continued.
However, even before Saint Vincent announced the new housing opportunities, the school was already seeing the success of the program. Last fall, Saint Vincent created two honors pods housed on the fifth floor of St. Benedict Hall. The experiment, only open to freshman Honors students, allowed the school to test the future Honors housing plan.
“This fall, we opened it up to incoming freshman with the various Honors Programs; 12 men and 12 women took advantage of this opportunity,” Boosel stated.
The pods supplied residents with a TV, a Keurig and a bookcase. Also, the pods had earlier quiet hours that are optimal for studying.
John Hurley, a freshman biology major who currently lives in the Honors pod, explained why he took advantage of the opportunity.
“The main reason was the quiet study hours, free TV, and to be with a group of guys that are dedicated,” Hurley said, adding that he has enjoyed the experience. “The guys are great. And we do a lot of events together. I definitely would recommend it to anyone wanting join.”
Every student living in an Honors pod wants to continue living in Honors housing. What started as a pilot program with 24 freshmen has become the future of the Saint Vincent Honors community.
“We are journeying together to develop the best life for the mind,” Boosel said. “And the new housing will help this.”