Baylor graduate housing furnishes quiet community

Spots for graduate student housing fill up quickly each year by early spring. Katy Mae Turner | Photographer

By Caitlyn Meisner | Staff Writer

Browning Square and the Quadrangle — Baylor-provided graduate housing — give students a quaint space to relax and study.

There are over 3,000 graduate students across more than 100 programs at Baylor.

Anna Grace Beaudry, community coordinator for Browning Square, and Dr. Alonso Octavio Aravena- Mendez,communitycoordinator for the Quadrangle, both said the apartment units for the upcoming year typically fill up by early spring, and there is often a long waitlist for the complexes.

“I know several colleagues who have been on the waitlist for either property before for over a year,” Adam Kraus, a doctoral candidate in the math department, who has lived in Browning Square for two and a half years, said. “It would be nice if there were more options for more students.”

Beaudry said she was lucky to have secured a spot at Browning Square as a first- year graduate student, but she acknowledges the lack of opportunities for students who are interested in this type of housing.

As community coordinators, Beaudry and Aravena-Mendez plan monthly events tailored to their residents, they said.

Beaudry said some past events include pumpkin carving contests, Thanksgiving meal baskets, Cinco de Mayo festivities and group ventures to Christmas on Fifth.

“We’re not RAs,” Beaudry said. “We don’t moderate rules and regulations. We don’t have anything to do with the process of people moving in. That’s all managed by the property management team. It keeps the collegiality between the graduate housing community and the graduate school.”

Kraus said he has enjoyed the Quadrangle’s pumpkin- carving contest held in October.

“You get to go out and meet residents from other graduate student housing, carve pumpkins [and] eat some good food,” Kraus said.

Kraus, Beaudry and Aravena-Mendez said there is a quiet community life within Browning Square and the Quadrangle.

“Most of us are pretty busy here at the Quadrangle,” Aravena-Mendez said. “We’re much more quiet. It’s one of the reasons why we like to live with our graduate students. We’re all just as occupied with having to read 200 sources for a paper.”

Dr. Coretta Pittman, faculty-in-residence for Browning Square, said she agreed with Aravena-Mendez’s comments on the quiet community.

“Only when we have an event do they come out and chit-chat,” Pittman said. “[The graduate students] don’t have a lot of time to be kicking back. In the fall and spring, they have to hit the ground running to make good impressions and make good grades.”

While the accommodations at Browning Square and the Quadrangle are great, Beaudry said she hopes renovations or new facilities come soon after the undergraduate housing projects are complete.

“My hope is that we can find larger graduate housing facilities that are a little bit on the more modern side — don’t have as many continual maintenance issues but can still remain affordable for students,” Beaudry said.