Adminstration holding off on co-ed living in St. James

Originally published November 19, 2010

As of Monday, Main Street Commons will be the first university housing on campus to allow co-ed tenants, but students are still hesitant to take advantage.
Making Main Street Commons co-ed gives students another housing alternative, but many students said the cost of renting there has deterred them.

“I am not interested in living there because it is still too expensive,” said sophomore nursing major Emma Ruegge. “Plus, I would not want to live with my boyfriend anytime soon.”

Junior public relations major Danielle McMillan said even though the building is co-ed, she wouldn’t even consider it as an option because of the price.

“I can’t afford it so I found an apartment that is half of what I would be paying at Main Street Commons,” she said. “It is going to be a cool building, but it is ridiculously priced too. I think it will spark more interest with students, but it might spark interest with people in the community too. If this happens, there may be more people from the community living there than students, and I don’t think that is what they want.”

Sophomore nursing major Katie Conoboy said if she was not already committed to a house, she would consider moving into Main Street Commons with her boyfriend despite the cost.

“I’d have to seriously commit to our relationship first,” she said. “But I think a lot of people would end up just rushing into it and not think about having to get out of a lease if they broke up.”

Conoboy said another concern would be sharing close quarters with other members of the Peoria community.

“I just don’t think I would feel comfortable with that, that’s the only thing,” she said. “I’d feel a lot better if it were all students.”

Earlier this month Student Senate passed a resolution encouraging a change in university policy that would allow co-ed roommates not only in Main Street Commons, but in the St. James Apartment Complex as well.

“The resolution was pretty simple in its demand and was just asking that the university allow opposite sex roommates in Main Street Commons as well as St. James,” said Student Body President Nick Swiatkowski.

Vice President for Student Affairs Alan Galsky said the administration made the decision to no longer restrict Main Street Commons from allowing co-ed roommates in response to Senate’s concerns.

“It was a response of a student resolution,” he said. “We felt that in the given situation and since we don’t own Main Street Commons we would not restrict them.”

Galsky said the decision of renting the building to co-ed tenants was up to the building’s owners.

“We told the owners and builders of Main Street Commons that the university will not restrict them to allow only those of the same sex to live there,” he said. “We told them it was up to them to rent to students of the opposite sex.”

While the university has decided to allow different sexes to live together in Main Street Commons, co-ed St. James apartments will be unavailable until at least the 2012 school year.

“I think what will happen is we will take a look at what happens at Main Street Commons this year, the 2011 school year, and then allow it and start it at St. James in 2012,” Galsky said.

Swiatkowski said he thinks this is a big step for Bradley and will help the university stand out from others.

“Hopefully when St. James is opened up to this new policy we will move even further ahead of other universities in providing the best housing for all students who want to live with whomever they are most compatible,” he said.