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Living in University Housing can increase academic success

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Living in University Housing can increase academic success

Bousfield Hall is one of the newest University Housing residence halls.

Bousfield Hall is one of the newest University Housing residence halls.

Jessica Jutzi

Bousfield Hall is one of the newest University Housing residence halls.

Jessica Jutzi

Jessica Jutzi

Bousfield Hall is one of the newest University Housing residence halls.

By Samantha Boyle, Staff Writer

While many students have mixed feelings about living in residence halls, there are some clear benefits.

Living in residence halls for two or more years will help students graduate within four years of being at the University, according to a University Housing email on Sept. 17. 

“We know that (freshmen) need a little bit more structure and understanding the resources available to them, but they also need to understand what it means to be a part of a larger community,” said University Housing Director Alma Sealine.

Sealine said she would like to require more years, but there is currently not enough room for that.

“If we would move to a two-year live-on requirement we wouldn’t have the space to accommodate both of the years,” Sealine said.

This past year the number of freshmen was approximately 7,500 students. If the number of incoming freshmen continues to increase, actions will be taken to provide more facilities, Sealine said.

According to Sealine, being involved with the University and staying connected with leadership opportunities is important as a student. Because of this, University Housing collaborates with the Student Affairs Office and other academic departments to find leadership resources around campus.

“We’re just trying to constantly look at ways that we could meet the student needs and be able to prepare them for whatever their next step may be,” she said.

For some students, that next step could be deciding to move from the residence halls into an apartment.

“I also know that there comes a point in time where people are done with the community living environment and really want to get out there on their own,” Sealine said.

However, Sealine said she believes there is a better way for students to achieve this goal, which involves University Housing and does not quite isolate the student.

Staying close to academic experiences and leadership opportunities is one way to make apartment living more beneficial, said Sealine.

Alex Comanescu, freshman in LAS, said he signed a lease for an apartment with three other students for next year. A large part of this decision was the price compared to the residence halls.

“For a similar cost for what I’m paying for now, (the apartment is) so much nicer,” Comanescu said.

However, Comanescu said the residence halls have given him the chance to make the group of friends he will live with.

“You meet a bunch of people and you guys become really good friends. You have a lot of fun together and you hang out together,” Comanescu said. “I probably would not have a group of four guys that’d be comfortable living together if I didn’t (live in) my dorm.”

Sealine and University Housing officials recognize the friendships that develop in the halls.

“What I know is that a lot of lifetime friendships are started in the residence hall experience,” Sealine said. “I think it all plays together to creating a really great university experience for our students.”

“Jake Tedeschi, freshman in DGS and Comanescu’s future roommate, said that he is ready to take that step into adulthood by living in an apartment.

“I just feel like getting an apartment is becoming an adult and becoming your own person,” he said.

Tedeschi said that in an apartment he will learn how to cook, clean and manage finances on his own. He will also become more independent, which is beneficial to his future in college and after graduation.

“Once you graduate, you’re already ready to do that stuff and not learn it while you’re doing your real-world job,” he said.

Tedeschi said the first-year live-on requirement is beneficial since he thinks freshmen need guidance when first moving to campus.

Sealine said along with resources, students have gained leadership opportunities, friendships and community skills that can be applied in future situations by living in the residence halls.

“If people have a good experience in the residence halls, I think that they have a higher affinity to be more positive about their university experience,” Sealine said.

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