ASTON, Pa. - Student housing conjures up visions of cramped dorms and difficult roommates, but that is not the case for one local university, where students are living with nuns.
"My initial thought was like, huh, how is this gonna work?" Neumann University student Katela Villasenor said.
But, it is working out wonderfully. Students at Neumann University, in Aston, living in Our Lady of Angels Convent with sisters from St. Francis of Philadelphia.
"It just seemed like a natural thing to do. They had a need for space. We had space. Why not work together?" Sister Esther Anderson explained.
In an effort to provide more student housing, some 40 students are living with 40 nuns. They have separate entrances and separate dining areas and keep very different hours.
"While we want to collaborate mutually and share mutually, I don’t think we’re ready to be out there at 3 a.m. for food deliveries," Sister Esther elaborated. "I think we’ll save that to the students to engage and enjoy."
Probably not going to happen, but the sisters are gearing up for their high-tech dancing debut. "They’re planning a TikTok for December. Oh so many of us are trying to get in shape, so we don’t let them down and stay in pace with them."
Grad student Zayyan Snell says the relationships he’s forming are pretty special. And, he’s teaching the nuns a thing or two, like the word jawn and offering technical assistance.
"If I come across a sister who is having trouble with their apps, I’m like, ‘I gotcha, come here for a sec,’" Zayyan said.
Their rooms look a bit different, with the sisters simple and religious tone, compared with the students more modern look.
All of the nuns are loving the rather unorthodox housing arrangement.
"Together, we just kind of, there’s a harmony. There’s a blending, but a natural blending," Sister Dorita Slaughter, said. "It has just blossomed into the most beautiful experience."