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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

A look inside St. Joe’s transfer housing at Quirk Hall

Quirk Hall is the only housing option at St. Joe ’s that solely holds transfer students. PHOTO: Leslie Quan ’22

Ted Dolan ’21, the RA for Quirk Hall, understands firsthand the experience of his residents, all transfer students.

Dolan was a transfer himself during the second semester of his first year, living in LaFarge Hall. By his junior year, Dolan found himself moving in next door into Quirk as the building’s RA. Dolan said housing exclusively for transfer students is a great way to acclimate them to campus.

“I can’t think of any other better option because by the time [transfer students] get accepted, the housing selection is finished already,” Dolan said. “I know that they are all pretty close with each other, so it’s a lot more comfortable.”

St. Joe’s is one of the only universities in Philadelphia to offer a space exclusively for transfer students. Schools like Temple University, Villanova University and the University of Pennsylvania don’t offer spaces exclusively for transfer students, with some not able to guarantee transfer housing at all.

Not all transfer students at St. Joe’s have to live in Quirk, but it’s an option to them when they get their acceptance and a chance to live with students who share their unique status on campus.

“It’s like freshman living but they all are upperclassmen, and it’s still their first time on campus,” Dolan said.

The house can also be used for other students during the Open Room Change Process, which allows for student room reassignment from Jan. 21 through Feb. 28 this spring.

Max Shirey, residential area manager (RAM) for Quirk Hall, explained that the Office of Residence Life saw a large number of vacancies in 2015. Deciding to utilize these vacancies, the Office of Residence Life began offering living spaces exclusively for transfer students. The location has changed multiple times since 2015 with Quirk Hall being the current location.

“I believe that every student experiences difficulties in acclimating to a new environment, whether they are a first-year college student, or transferred to a new institution,” Shirey said in an email to The Hawk. “Having a community of individuals going through similar experiences aids in this adjustment as students navigate a new physical environment, adjust to their classes, find ways to make new friends and get involved on campus.”

John Jeffery, Ph.D and assistant vice president for Campus Life, confirmed that after polling transfer students, many wanted to have a space together.

“I think the transfer element is unique,” Jeffery said, “and to have a group of students who live together with kind of a shared experience of being in college before but not being together at St. Joe’s.”

Luke Laperriere ’21 is a transfer student who lives in Quirk Hall. Because Laperriere is a junior, if Quirk Hall wasn’t an option, he would have to live in an off-campus house or apartment.

“I think generally speaking, all the transfers don’t know a lot of people so it gave us an opportunity to meet people at this school in a similar situation,” Laperriere said.

Laperriere agreed with Dolan that the environment of the house is something different on campus. For Laperriere, Quirk Hall seemed like the “right fit” for him.

Within the next five years, demolition will begin on Sourin Hall, Lafarge Hall and Quirk Hall to make room for the new student center, according to Jeffery, but the university hopes to keep an area on campus that just transfers are able to live in.

“It wouldn’t be a new house,” Jeffery said. “We would make a space whether that be using a space on Lapsley or even carve out space in another residential facility.”

Dolan said he hopes the university maintains a housing option for transfer students as well.

“Last year they were in Sourin first floor so it worked then, so even a floor in a new building would be great, too,” Dolan said.

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