By Chloe M. Brown
SAN ANTONIO—The best way to introduce a new dorm on OLLU campus is to hold a blessing ceremony. The new dorm has been under construction since this summer, but on October 27th, OLLU held a blessing ceremony for the new dorm.
“I invite you today to look out at that dirt, and visualize young people walking in and walking down hallways on their first day of school, the first day of what’s going to be a remarkable transformation of their lives.” Dr. Diane Mebly states at the beginning of the ceremony. She continues on by saying, “It’s not about a building. It’s not about bricks. It’s not about comfy beds. It’s not about air conditioning. It’s about what will happen to the lives of the people who will walk through those hallways and sleep in those beds.”
That’s the heart of OLLU. Changing lives even in the smallest of ways and encouraging students to change lives as well as strengthening the community around OLLU. Now for those students who were concerned with the addition of a new dorm may raise tuition rates, there is good news. Roy Terracina, OLLU Chairman of the Board, ecstatically stated, “We financed it in a way that no tuition dollars are being used for it’s construction.” Which means that students don’t have to worry about this amazing new dorm drastically affecting tuition.
The new dorm is scheduled to be available for students to live in by the 2017 fall semester. There has been a resident hall committee formed to decide the functioning of the new dorm. One of the ideas that was proposed was to have an area on the top floors for upperclassmen. Mark Center states that it’s quite symbolic as if you literally work towards the top.
Among other things that will differ from traditional dorms –besides the kitchen- is that they are working on twelve month leases so that students can stay on campus both through summer break and winter break. The reason they could never do this before was because without a kitchen and the café being closed, there were limited option for residents to eat. Resident life will still be offering academic contracts as well as full term contracts.
Mark states that he will first be getting feedback from resident’s on what they want, who they would be most compatible living with, and other valid information when looking for dorm mates. They say that they are looking at residents to start signing up around November, and if residents are current they would need to go into Resident Life to talk to them about the new dorm.