It was a day some thought they would never see. The day that student housing officially came to the IUSB campus.
Dedication ceremonies held today marked the completion of a 400-bed apartment complex, owned by I-U, and rented exclusively to IUSB students.
"Let's put it this way," said IUSB Chancellor Una Mae Reck, "student housing for Indiana University South Bend has been talked about for the last three decades."
The concept was first proposed in the campus master plan of 1988. Only now has it become a reality.
I.U. President Dr. Michael Robbie was on hand to mark the occasion. "I think we're seeing it right across the state that more of our students are becoming more of the traditional type of student who is in the roughly 18 to 25 demographic and who wants a residential experience," he said.
While IUSB has had a long reputation as a commuter school for older non-traditional students, that reputation has been changing. "We have over 60% full time students, and over 60% of our students are 18 to 22 (years old) now," said Chancellor Reck.
Reck said the ratio between part time and full time students was 50-50 when she started just six years ago.
The addition of the apartment complex won't get rid of the commuter school label overnight. "Well, 400-beds I don't think makes a residential campus when we have 7,500 students, but this property will hold another 400-beds if we're successful with this, three or four years (from now) we'd hope to add," said Reck.
The South Bend campus is among three I.U. regional campuses that now has student housing. The others are Bloomington and Indianapolis. At I.U. South in New Albany, construction on a housing complex is underway-but not completed.