In an email sent out to students on Feb. 21, President Lori S. White outlined recent updates to student housing and Greencastle City infrastructural plans following the Board of Trustees Retreat last Feb. 8. The retreat involved over 40 faculty, staff, and student representatives from the DePauw Student Government, the Center of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Women’s Center to discuss urgent residential issues across campus.

“A clear next top priority for the university emerged from the retreat—and that is student housing,” Dr. White said. “Whether [students] live in university-owned housing, a residence hall or duplexes, or Greek-owned housing, [we want students to] reside in a facility with a living experience that aligns with our exemplary student experience goals.”

Vice President for Institutional Equity John Mark Day and Vice President for Finance and Administration Andrea Young will develop a financial strategy for student housing, in coordination with the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the Board. 

Dr. White added how a previously approved master plan for student housing was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which would require appropriate revisions in line with the Bold and Gold Strategic Plan and increased student feedback.

Furthermore, Dr. White highlighted the submission of a grant proposal to the Lilly Endowment to prospectively fund over 120 residential units across Greencastle. This follows concerns about the lack of citywide residential areas for the local workforce and DePauw employees. The implementation would be funded by the College and Community Collaboration grant to support higher education initiatives and campus community needs.

“Additional ideas that have also surfaced as priorities are enhancing the connection between downtown Greencastle and the campus through beautification and safety improvements (e.g., better walking paths, lighting, landscaping) and a community pool as part of the city’s new 24-hour YMCA [Project],” Dr. White said. 

Vice President Young and Vice President for Institutional Equity Dionne Jackson will spearhead the grant submission, which is due by March 1.

The administration plans to conduct future meetings with student leaders to discuss upcoming plans for student housing and citywide infrastructural renovations.