By Cameron Meyn
Purchase’s administration held two information sessions for Broadview in order to help assuage and inform the student body, which has had reservations regarding the future senior living community on campus.
In attendance was President Milly Peña, Barry Pearson, the Senior Vice President for Intergenerational Learning and Program Planning and former provost and Ashley Wade, Broadview’s marketing director, along with a few students and future Broadview residents.
The information sessions on Wednesday included a presentation titled “Intergenerational Learning and Continuing Education at Purchase College.” Through the presentation, Pearson and Wade showed what they project Broadview will bring to campus in the following years. Namely new employment opportunities, mentorships and interactions between students and Broadview residents and the ability for residents to audit classes.
“What we’re most excited about is inspiring students and Broadview residents to continue to learn and work,” Pearson stated. “One of our core values is inclusivity, and Broadview reinforces that.”
Wade also added that Broadview is a “win-win” situation for Purchase. “The students of Purchase get to make these great career connections and mentorships,” said Wade. “Broadview residents get to interact with the younger generations, and lots of much-needed revenue is generated for the school.”
Even though Broadview hasn’t even been completed yet, many Purchase students are already cynically leery of the community and its effects on the college’s future.
“It’s definitely confusing,” said Sam Webb-Horvath, a freshman printmaking major. “Lots of people pay thousands to be here but that money doesn’t flow back to them. I also feel that queer and POC students might feel antagonized by Broadview’s residents, considering their age and upbringing.”
“I get that it’ll make more scholarships but they should reinvest that money instead,” said freshman printmaking major Ashlee Bayer. “They should put that money towards the food and redoing the freshman dorms…my friends have had issues with black mold.”
Others are less wary of Broadview and its implications for Purchase. “I think it’s a great opportunity to create money for the programs at Purchase,” said senior music composition major Liam Puglisi. “Students will have an overall better experience and access to higher quality equipment.”
Broadview is a university-based retirement community—or UBRC—currently under construction on campus, located on the formerly empty plot of land near the admissions building. It aims to be “a vigorous learning community for residents whose values are consistent with [Purchase’s]...offering students of all ages intellectual and social growth opportunities beyond the typical experiences available on either a college campus or at a senior residential community,” according to the Broadview section of Purchase’s website. Upon completion, Broadview will contain several facilities for residents, such as classrooms, performance venues, a dance studio, a coffee shop and most notably, the “Learning Commons”, a 10,000 square-foot building where students can meet with Broadview residents seamlessly.
“We want to make interactions between students and residents as fluid as possible,” Pearson added. “We want to mirror our policy of an open campus.”
A similar message to Pearson's is displayed on the Broadview section of Purchase’s website. The site claims that Broadview, and more generally UBRCs, provide a number of benefits to both residents and students, including reduced ageism, an improved quality and purpose in life for residents and gained knowledge of geriatrics and gerontology among students.
While the meeting accomplished its goal of being informational, few students actually attended the first session. “This wasn’t going to be the end-all-be-all of informing students about Broadview,” Pearson said. “It’s part of a longer, ongoing strategy to educate people about it.”
The students who did drop by made up for their low numbers through their interest and enthusiasm for the community, often asking Wade, Pearson and future Broadview residents questions.
Sandy Kellogg, who has already reserved her spot at the community, was delighted to hear that students are looking forward to interacting with her and her neighbors. “We don't want to be isolated just with seniors,” she said in response to one student. “Lots of skill sets are available to you…I want to make a difference.”