Berkshire County students enjoy living on campus


Nearly 100 MCLA students from nearby towns such as Adams, Pittsfield - and even North Adams - don't live at home - they reside on the MCLA campus in the Berkshire Towers, Hoosac Hall or Flagg Townhouses as they earn their bachelor's degrees.

Although they could commute to campus each day, Samantha Barbarotta '14 of Pittsfield, Nate Gutmann '16 of Adams and Josh McLean '14 of Pittsfield opted for the "whole college" experience they say living on campus offers them.

Barbarotta (pictured right), a student-athlete at MCLA, said living on campus eliminates the 45-minute drive home she otherwise would need to make after a game.

"Living on campus has allowed me to be very involved," she said. "I am a member of the volleyball and softball teams, as well as the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and the President's Athletic Advisory Committee. I do not think these opportunities would be so easily accessible to me if did not live on campus."                             

According to McLean (pictured left), who majors in environmental studies, "I feel like you have more to talk about and go to as a resident student than as a commuter student. I personally enjoy going to sports and student activities council events. They really provide a nice atmosphere to meet new people and build relationships."

Gutmann (below) - who majors in business administration with a concentration in sports management - agreed. "When you live on campus, you get a whole other view of college with new friends and different school activities," he said.

During her time at MCLA, Barbarotta - whose major is interdisciplinary studies with focuses on biology and psychology - has lived in Berkshire Towers and the townhouses.

"Berkshire Towers provided a quiet living community, which was very good for studying and being an effective student," she said. "The townhouses were a bit livelier, but they gave me the opportunity to live with four of my closest friends and spend almost all my time with them."

By living on campus while attending MCLA, these students also feel they have gained independence that would not have been possible had they lived at home.

According to McLean, "It is not necessarily easy to get used to college life, but it really helps build your own sense of independence and work ethic. I feel like I would have accomplished much less if I commuted."

For Gutmann, living on campus means he can rely more on himself, and less on his parents. And, Barbarotta enjoys being able to go out on the weekends without having to worry about getting home late.

For her, the experience has "most definitely" been worth the added expense.

"Because I chose to live on campus, I have been able to make many new friends and I have also been able to be very involved on campus," Barbarotta said. "If I were commuting, these opportunities may not have been so easy for me to accomplish."