Creating a Community of Scholars at Florida State University
Semester: Spring 2012
Lead Faculty: Melissa Saunders, Director, Florida Planning and Design Lab, Florida State University
Project Partners: FSU: Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Finance and Administration, and the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy
Student Assistants: Dominick Ard’is, Cheryl Dippre, Adam Jacobs, Stan Reecy, Bessie Reina Morgan Runion, Natalie Suñer, Lauren Stanley, and Shawn Urbach
Summary: Florida State University (FSU) places a premium on attracting and retaining a high quality, diverse graduate student body. In order to remain competitive with other leading research institutions, senior administrators are asking what, beyond excellent academic programs, might attract the best and brightest graduate students. A previously overlooked area used to achieve this goal is university housing. FSU must understand whether there are forms of housing, beyond current provisions, that prospective students might find attractive. In an effort to deal with the complex issue of housing, FSU’s Graduate School, Department of Housing, College of Social Science & Public Policy, and Finance & Administration engaged the Department of Urban and Regional Planning Capstone Studio to examine possibilities of how to house future students. This report presents those findings offering recommendations on how to design housing that will create a sustainable, vibrant, and supportive environment that fosters a "community of scholars" for graduate students to integrate with FSU. The recommendations seek to provide housing as a support system that better integrates the components of student life, thereby adding to the attractiveness of FSU as a major research institution.