We who live, study, and work at Mason have known for some time that the days of the university turning into a ghost town after the daily mass exodus of commuter students are long gone.
With about 5,400 students now living on the Fairfax Campus, the university is a 24/7, living, breathing, eating, sleeping, studying, and partying community. So it’s about time that the powers that be take notice.
Those powers are the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching , which, according to various reports, will soon reclassify Mason from a commuter school to a “primarily residential” university!
Jana Hurley, Mason’s executive director of Housing and Residence Life, says the change is long overdue. Talking to the the Associated Press , she says having the commuter school tag creates a perception that Mason lacks opportunities for students to get involved. But, she adds, those “perceptions” are rapidly disappearing as the university continues to change.
Among those changes she is referring to are a slew of new residence halls.
In 2009, Eastern Shore opened to students. It features suite style living spaces in 16-person clusters. Each cluster has its own living, dining, and kitchen area.
A year later, the Hampton Roads building opened to 400 students. It has single and double-occupancy rooms, lounges and study areas on each floor, and access to the new Pilot House dining hall.
And the school is not stopping there. According to the university’s Facilities Management Office, another 600-bed hall  will be ready for on-campus students in 2012.
With more students leaving their cars at home, could this mean I can someday park close to the Mason Spirit office in Mason Hall? A guy can dream, can’t he!