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Housing department makes changes to residential options

From animal-free wings to language houses, Housing Management and Dining Services (HMDS) announced  that there will be many changes made to on-campus housing for the 2015-2016 school year.

Many of these changes, announced Mar. 20, came from student suggestions to create living spaces better tailored to specific needs such as food and animal allergies.

Ege Hall will no longer house Mills students. According to Housing Operations Manager Phaedra Gauci, once housing makes a contract with the new occupants, they will make a formal announcement to students. Priority for Prospect Hill apartments will be given to students with specific food related disabilities and allergies, and students will be unable to choose roommates.

According to Gauci, there has also been an increase in demand for Emotional Support Animals (ESA) on campus; in response, an ESA Community Wing in Orchard Meadow Hall will be implemented. HMDS will also offer an animal free wing in Warren Olney Hall for students with pet-related health issues such as allergies.

Gabriella Tempestoso, assistant dean of students and director of student support services, is happy to see this change finally implemented onto campus.

“It is our hope that both student populations will benefit from creating these separate spaces,” Tempestoso said.

Aiden Thomas, a second-year MFA who lives in the townhouse apartments, believes these ESA and ESA-free wings are important to proactively stop any issues with people who do not want to live with animals.

“Unfortunately, that does happen and it creates an uncomfortable living space for both residents, and creates a sense of contention and alienation,” Thomas said.

Another new housing option is language houses. According to Gauci, the office of the provost, foreign language department, and the $100,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation helped make this option possible. These houses will allow students to immerse themselves in a Spanish or French speaking house. However, according to Guaci, these language houses will only be available if enough students apply for them.

For more housing information, contact HMDS at or visit on the Mills College website.