NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Iona College and numerous residents, businesses, students and faculty offered their support for a proposed amendment to Ordinance 81 of the City of New Rochelle that temporarily maintains the maximum number of students in dormitories permitted by New York State law.
The amendment delivers a two-year extension to maintain current occupancy levels through September 2020, enabling Iona to continue to offer its students housing while permanent status is evaluated. Current levels were previously set to expire in September 2018.
"Tuesday's hearing before the City Council on the proposed amendment to extend the current occupancy number offered the opportunity for residents, businesses, students and faculty to share why allowing Iona students to continue living and learning in our residence halls serves everyone's best interests," said Paul J. Sutera, senior vice president for Advancement and External Affairs, Iona College. "Not only does maintaining a vibrant residence hall community contribute to Iona's vitality as a tuition- and room and board-dependent institution, but it also helps generate more than $2 million in revenue per year for local businesses that participate in Iona's meal plan. Additionally, many of our neighbors expressed that they benefit through more students living on-campus and under Iona supervision, rather than being alongside residential, established communities."
The New Rochelle City Council is considering the College's occupancy petition and is expected to vote in the coming weeks.
Iona College has seven dormitories on or around its campus, including a new seven-story residence hall with retail space on North Avenue that was completed in 2016. When residing in Iona dormitories, student behavior is subject to Iona's Code of Conduct and staff supervision, with 24/7 access to Campus Safety. Iona students are strong members of the New Rochelle community, providing over 66,000 hours of community service annually to enhance the quality of life for local residents.
Additionally, the College would like to reiterate it has no "secret" master plan for expansion. The sole projects that have been deemed possible after examination for feasibility are the renovation and expansion of the current business school at the center of Iona's campus, and a modest addition to Spellman Hall. Neither would affect campus borders, and each has notable support of the community.
While the College has examined an addition to the Hynes Athletics Center for a practice court, this is an unfunded project with no associated timeline, and there are no plans for a sports arena. The College affirms no other projects have been submitted for approval.
Founded in 1940, Iona College is a four-year private, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers and American Catholic higher education. Iona's 45-acre campus is just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of 45,000-plus around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs.