Residence Life programming adjusts to help freshmen enjoy life at ResCo

Photo by Taylor CoxFreshman students arrive at college eager to find a social footing. But an increasing number of freshmen living in Residential College may feel like they are left out of that experience.

The isolated location of their units from other freshman makes for  different experience than living in Ross Hall or Schwitzer Hall first- year ResCo residents said.

“First-year students want to get to meet as many people as possible, and that does not change between residence halls,” Cunningham said. “Students in ResCo just have to work a little harder.”

Because of the different circumstances, more pressure is put on the resident assistants to plan programs and events that get freshmen out and involved with other students.

ResCo Residence Life Coordinator Jeff Tyner said the situation “poses challenges for RAs,” adding that ResCo allows students to form more “close knit relationships.”

“It is important for RAs and their RLC to schedule programming,” said Karla Cunningham, director of residence life.

The number of freshmen in ResCo has fluctuated in recent years.

Last year, as Butler accepted its largest freshman class in university history, ResCo had between 80 and 90 first year students spread among the wings, making communication difficult to accomplish.

Freshman Steven Gianakas, a business major, said he feels socially limited living in Resco. Daniel Young, a freshman actuarial science and finance major said he agrees with Gianakas’ sentiment.

This year, with a smaller freshman class, the numbers have adjusted accordingly with about 40 first year students living in ResCo, all located in one unit.
This consolidation brings freshmen closer together.

“The freshman hall has their doors open a lot,” freshman arts administration major Mollie Ellis said. “I will see a door right across the hall open, know it is a freshman room and that is the first place I will go.”

In ResCo, the fire retardant doors automatically swing shut as a safety precaution, which contrasts the “open door” policy popular in Ross and Schwitzer.

In fact, it is common to pass through an entire upperclassman wing in ResCo without encountering a single open door.

But to prevent a disconnect between residents in the hall, students are able to keep doors open at all times at ResCo as per policy. Freshman ResCo residents said being allowed to keep doors open makes them feel closer to one another.

While not provided by residence life, students in ResCo are able to purchase door stops or use another object to keep their doors open, granted it does not cause damage to the door or the floor.

“It is a building code difference that indirectly affects the community,” Tyner said. “Most people like the privacy.”

Even with the closed doors, some freshmen find that living in Resco improves their social life tremendously.

“You make closer friends [here] instead of acquaintances,” first year pharmacy major Andrew Taschler said of living in ResCo compared to Ross or Schwitzer. “Size makes a difference.”

Freshman and Ross Hall resident Jacob Ready prefers seeing a larger pool of names and faces.

“Having an open door is a great way to meet people and strike up a conversation,” Ready said.

‘Writing on the doors is important since the doors are not always open,” said Emily Welch, RA for the freshman unit.

Welch passed out door stops to all of her residents and encouraged those who wanted more social activity to prop their doors open.

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