Sept. 25, 2001

CONTACT: Ward Mullens






YPSILANTI - For 276 Eastern Michigan University students, finding commonground with a new roommate and dorm life just got a little easier.

The Village, EMU's first new residence hall in 30 years, is designed to promote a unique, on-campus learning and living experience, one in which students with the same majors are grouped together by gender to foster learning in and outside of the classroom.

There will be an opening ceremony for the new residence hall Sept. 25, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Chair of EMU's Board of Regents, Philip Incarnati, along with EMU President Samuel A. Kirkpatrick and EMU Vice President of Student Affairs James Vick, will be the speakers. Building tours will follow the presentation.

  The Village is located immediately west of the Hoyt Towers, at the corner of Oakwood and Mayhew in Ypsilanti.

"We want students to connect with each other, not only in the classroom, but socially," said Vick.  "Eastern Michigan is a large university, but we're still trying to maintain a sense of familiarity and knowing one another."

"Academic Affairs has requested a partnership to have certain majors room together," said Becky Figura, EMU's director of housing. "It's a way to bring people together and share experiences."

  "It's part of a comprehensive effort in dealing with enhancing the learning environment and addressing issues such as (student) retention and graduation," said Michael Harris, associate vice president for academic affairs.  "We want to treat students in a holistic manner and increase the quality of the EMU experience."

The concept is students who are around other students with like interests in and outside of the classroom are more likely to continue to pursue their education and, eventually, earn a degree said Harris.

Students majoring in foreign languages, business, computer sciences, health and human services, and those who have an interest in leadership and community service will be grouped together, Harris said.

Each of the six buildings houses 46 students in apartment-style units. Some apartment units have four single bedrooms and two bathrooms, while others will have two bedrooms and one bathroom. Each bedroom is furnished with a bed, study desk, dresser and love seat, Figura said. Each apartment also contains a full kitchen with tables and chairs, a large living area, and a study room off the laundry facilities on the ground floor.

The living room and bedrooms are wired for cable and Internet connectivity, Figura said.

In addition to the six residence buildings, a commons building includes a front reception area, mailroom, a meeting room for 50, and possibly a future computer lab, Figura said.

The project cost $13 million and is phase one of a two-part project. The second phase will accommodate about 275 students. No schedule has been determined for the second phase. TMP Associates, of Bloomfield Hills, did the design work on The Village, while The Christman Company, of Lansing, was responsible for the construction.

Eastern Michigan University ( is a four-year, comprehensive metropolitan university committed to the needs of its students and communities through teaching, research and service. EMU offers more than 200 programs in the arts, sciences and professionals through traditional classroom settings, on-site continuing education classes and on-line courses. EMU is the fifth largest university in Michigan, serving 24,000 students from around the world and offers undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate programs.