–by Chelsea Lauren
The college dormitory experience is one of the top priorities for many college-bound students when looking at higher education options. I was one of those prospective students weighing college options based on expectations for the college’s dorm set-up. I was going on campus tours for different school options and when I realized Lourdes had apartment-style residential halls, that was the big sell for me – I really felt like I could make this space a home away from home.
Yes, you read right … Lourdes University offers apartment-style residence, and not just to upperclass/graduate students, but to incoming first-year students as well. “Lourdes University is the only Ohio college that provides apartment-style housing to incoming first-year students,” said Associate Dean for Residence Life and Community Standards T. Todd Masman. “Living in a set-up identical to living in an apartment has its privileges and challenges. Students need to realize the responsibility that comes with it.”
Masman has been overseeing the apartment-style residential halls at Lourdes University for over three years. “I was brought to Lourdes from a friend of a friend who said, ‘a quaint but feisty university in Sylvania, Ohio could use your help.’” Masman has been working in college housing since his sophomore year of college. His first position was as a Resident Assistant, a student hired by the university to act as an advocate for residential students and a mandatory reporter of incidents. Under Masman’s leadership, Lourdes’ “Residence Life” employs 16 student RAs for the 2021-2022 academic year who each supervise one “pod” of residents. Student RAs help residents resolve problems, connect with others, and, in response to the pandemic, enforce COVID rules and regulations.
Lourdes University acquired the apartments, previously known as Parkgate Place Apartments, in 2011, the same year Lourdes officially established its athletic department. Coincidentally, the athletic department and the spacious residence halls have become two of Lourdes’ top recruitment staples.