Blakely Heaton | Assistant News Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Students can now call Fairview House, the newest residence hall on Butler University’s campus, a home.
Fairview officially opened to students this month and can house up to 633 students. Currently, Fairview is operating at near-full capacity.
This housing facility is unlike any other at Butler University, which means the first year will be a learning experience for everyone — from students to staff.
There are two clear differences between Fairview and the traditional college dorm: the number of people in a living space and the design itself.
Fairview does not have traditional single, double or triple dorm rooms—but rather “pods,” designed for six or eight people.
Within each pod there is a kitchenette and a living space for all six to eight people to share, and smaller suites for every two people.
The kitchenette is furnished with a refrigerator, microwave, sink and cabinets.
The living space is furnished with a two tables and a leather corner sectional couch.
The suites have two beds, separated by a section of wall and a bathroom where each student has their own personal vanity and shares the shower and toilet area.
There are single rooms available throughout Fairview. Students who opt for these will have an extra-long full sized bed, rather than the typical twin-sized bed.
Fairview Resident Assistant Emilie Turner, a junior political science and international studies double major, said Fairview looks and feels like a hotel, and other students agree.
Fairview resident Murjanatu Mutuwa, a sophomore interactive media major, does not hold the popular opinion of Fairview.
“It’s so nice, but it’s definitely not home,” she said. “With its empty, long hallways and square furniture it feels very cold.”
Originally, Fairview was meant to be the residence hall for sophomores, as Residential College has been in the past. Now, Fairview has opened its doors to first-year students as well.
Traditionally, two or three students will live together in a dorm to start off college life— in Fairview, the minimum is six.
This amount of students together provides much more opportunity for roommate conflict, but the RA’s are preparing for this, too.
Turner and fellow Fairview RA Megan Fraider, a junior mechanical engineering and physics dual degree student, both said six to eight people living together was a concern for them, but hopefully it will be a smooth year.
“We are basically playing everything by ear,” Turner said.
Turner was previously a Ross Hall RA, where she assisted incoming first-year students in their adjustment to the college lifestyle. Now, she is taking on sophomores.
“It is going to be a challenge for me to give up what I know from Ross,” she said. “Because Fairview is different — new building with new rules.
“Room checks will still be in place and rounds will likely be longer for the RAs because Fairview is so much bigger than Ross or Schwitzer was.”
Despite the inevitable challenges, the Fairview RAs are just as excited as the residents for the year.
Fraider and Turner have already brainstormed activities to do with their residents.
“I’m hoping to host movie nights, maybe unit dinners in my apartment,” Fraider said.
Turner discussed multiple units meeting up together for s’mores at the grill area.
When asked about the grill area outside of Fairview, Fraider said, “We are still figuring these things out as well. Hopefully, those will be great spaces for unit events.”
Fairview was originally intended for sophomores, but first-years will live together on the fourth floor.
“First-years are being placed all on the fourth floor,” Turner said. “I am glad that they are all being put together so that they still have a chance to form a community and interact with each other.”
One of those first-years is Jacob Sisson, an actuarial science major from Kentucky.
“I’m pumped to live in Fairview,” Sisson said. “I know that the seven other guys I’m living with are also excited.”
Sisson said he never shared a bedroom before, but is not too concerned about transitioning to living with seven other people.
A widely discussed concern about Fairview is that first-years will not socialize as much because they have all they need in their pods, but Sisson’s pod is countering that concern.
“We aren’t going to put a TV in our living space,” he said. “We think that this is a good way to force us to get out of the room more and socialize in the communal areas.”
Sisson is most excited about the cardio fitness room in the building.
“I’m definitely going to use the gym in Fairview to run in the mornings and stuff,” he said, “but I still plan to visit the HRC for my more standard workouts.”
Sisson said the partial dividing wall in the bedrooms is the biggest negative for him.
“It makes it hard to move around the furniture and overlap,” he said. “I don’t really think it was necessary.”
Sisson was not concerned about the cost of Fairview in comparison to the other dorm options.
“It isn’t really that much more, especially if you think about all the amenities that come with Fairview,” he said.
A double room in Ross Hall runs at $2,755 per semester, Residential College is $3,100, and a typical Fairview double room is $3,600.
While more incoming first-year students continue to move in to Fairview, some sophomores are moving on to the Apartment Village.
AV is normally where many Butler juniors and seniors call home, but this year it was opened up to sophomores because Fairview needed more room for the large incoming Class of 2020.
Sophomores who signed up to live in Fairview received an email this summer from Residence Life offering incentives if they opted to live in AV, Butler Terrace, Christian Theological Seminary or University Terrace.
The incentives offered in the deal included varying amounts of flex dollars and only being charged the price of a Fairview double room for any of the four transfer choices— a discount on apartment housing, ranging from $405 to $1,305 per semester.
Kate Lake, a sophomore international studies and religion double major, was one of those sophomores to say goodbye to Fairview.
“It was, financially, a smart move for me because I never used the meal plan with Atherton,” she said. “It seemed like a waste of money to spend thousands of dollars to not eat at Atherton.”