Strath Haven to Close for 2017-2018 Academic Year

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

As of Fall 2017, the Strath Haven Condominium, which houses up to 16 students, will no longer be open for use by Swarthmore students. This closure is occurring in tandem with the addition of the New PPR apartments opening in the Fall of 2017.

A resident of Strath Haven, Emma Remy ‘18, expressed confusion after hearing about the closure from an acquaintance. Remy reached out to Isaiah Thomas, the Assistant Director of Residential Committees, to confirm that Strath Haven would no longer function as student housing and Thomas replied that it would be closed due to “necessary maintenance.”

For Remy, this news was particularly disappointing as she had planned to remain in Strath Haven for her senior year as well. She originally decided to reside in Strath Haven after researching different options and discovering  that it was the most financially viable option that satisfied her desires in living arrangement. Remy stated that she was particularly interested in having a level of housing permanency, so she emailed Isaiah Thomas asking if she could stay in Strath Haven for a second year. Thomas replied that she would, explaining that it would be inconvenient to coordinate with the condo company to move her in and out of the complex.

With the closure of Strath Haven, however, Remy will no longer be able to stay in Strath Haven on the college’s plan. After inquiring about the situation to Dean Karen Henry, Remy revealed that Dean Henry had only just been informed of the closure in a meeting about housing on the morning of March 2nd. Dean Henry also reportedly had no knowledge on why Strath Haven was closing, or what would happen to it in the future.

When asked about the situation, Gregory Brown, the Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer, stated in an email that the closure of Strath Haven would provide the administration with an opportunity to “assess our long-term student housing needs.”  

We believe that the addition of the PPR Apartments to our student housing inventory will provide a popular housing option for students who wish to prepare their own food, and will enhance the residential student experience overall,” Brown wrote.

Isaiah Thomas commented on the closure, stating that “We are very excited about the addition of the PPR Apartments as a new housing option that will provide housing for approximately 120 students. Strath Haven could only accommodate up to 16 students.”

Thomas also revealed that the Strath Haven condominiums would undergo extensive repairs to the heating and air conditioning systems with its removal from the student housing options. A number of units will still be in use for housing various staff members in the future. Thomas stated that more information regarding 2017-2018 student housing options will be released by late March, which would contain instructions on how to apply for the much anticipated PPR apartments.


Featured image courtesy of

2 thoughts on “Strath Haven to Close for 2017-2018 Academic Year

  • March 28, 2017 at 11:35 am

    It’s great that you have 120 new beds to offer people in apartment style living. It’s not so great that you’ve been telling people wrong information all year and then not provided updated information as soon as it was available to make sure people would have time to change plans and prepare. OSE blindsides people like this ALL THE TIME (summer housing in Ashton House anyone? The summer before when the moveout from Mertz was changed at the end of the summer???). Please, please, please, OSE, it’s ok if you repeatedly screw people over, that’s fine, it’s life, but could you at least send them an email/have any kind of transparency or student input??? We don’t like just rolling with your punches as they happen.

  • April 3, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I have to agree with Senior 17. Shelter is a basic need. I feel badly for Emma Remy. Finding out that you housing has been taken away is very difficult news. Finding it out from a fellow student makes it even more difficult to handle. Finding out that the Dean’s Office staff didn’t have much information makes it even worse. Come on…we can do better than that. Lack of transparency and failure to take the time to get input before changes take place seems to have become commonplace on the campus these days. It’s not just where you live and sleep. Changes are made continuously without taking the time to have open communication with those that will be involved personally. It’s not a life or death event, but is definitely does have an impact on how people feel about the workplace. It feels so off-hand. Decision made by individuals who have no thoughts about anything except the new and better plan. So many employees are currently having their sense of stability and security torn away by having to pack up their offices and move to new locations..often temporary ones at that. These types of changes are very stressful. Timely open communication is always a decent want to go. It makes people feel like they matter. I might take the sting out of having a sense of security derailed.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!