By Claudia Balthazar, Special to the Chronicle
Hofstra has started a new academic year with new lounges on each floor of all the residence halls. Each room that ends in "04" is no longer a room for a student to live in, but a room for students to socialize and study.
"We put the lounges on each floor because we wanted to help build community within the residence halls," said Dean Libman. "That way people could socialize with their fellow floormates." Now, new and returning students can start off this year with a new place to make friends.
Each lounge is fully equipped with brand new furniture. The couches separate into four individual chairs, which is great for forming into a circle for group meetings, or just bringing them all together to sit and mingle with a group of friends. There are two comfortable chairs with cup holders, an attached desk and a small table. The door of each lounge is always propped open, inviting anyone to enjoy the new comfortable lounges.
Resident Assistant of the third floor of Constitution Hall, Kristin Waltiere said that when she went on rounds last week, she saw a group of people sitting in the lounge talking to each other. She also mentioned that the lounge on her floor has already been used for tutoring sessions.
There are different reasons to use the lounges. Mainly, they were designed to help build community. Sophomore and Hofstra Resident Joanna Trujillo said, "the lounges could help students socialize better if they shared the same subjects, like people in the same Chemistry class." She added, "A group of people studying different subjects would not make a difference on the floor because there would be nothing to talk about." Another use for the lounges are as RA Waltiere implied, "RA programs, because usually there's a lot of ideas for programs and sometimes there's no place to hold them." However, they could also be used for privacy. RA Waltiere added, "The lounges could be used for those students who have roommates. If one wants to study while the other wants to listen to music, they could settle their dispute by one using the lounge for their peace and quiet."
It is impressive that there is enough room to fit a lounge on each floor of the resident halls. One would think that there was a lack of student enrollment or that there were more commuters than there were residents. However, the number of student enrollment has been constant for the past two years and this year's class is a bit bigger than the last. As of this academic year, there are 1,680 first year students enrolled at Hofstra. Out of that, 1,280 are residents. That means that 72 percent of the incoming students are residents, according to Dean Libman.