The Division of Campus Residences is committed to providing quality housing and educational service to its resident students. The residence halls on campus house 60 percent of all undergraduate students. More than 40 professional Campus Residences staff members, assisted by approximately 300 student staff members, help students structure their experience within the framework of the overall Campus Residences program. The emphasis on developing student responsibility is intended to promote standards that encourage personal growth and a rewarding living experience.
The residence halls are organized in quads by groups of three to five residential colleges. Each ensures that students feel part of a small residential community that fosters social, intellectual, and cultural interaction. Each residence hall houses approximately 220 students; nine of the halls are designated as Living Learning Centers. Each quad has a unique atmosphere and personality that is further enhanced and supported by the Undergraduate Colleges, a system of six theme-based academic communities, each of which has its "home" in one of the quads. Every entering freshman is assigned to an Undergraduate College based on his or her preferences. Small seminars, interaction with senior faculty members, one-to-one advising, and programs and activities based on the college theme all enhance the first-year experience.
Each residence hall is supervised by a residence hall director. The RHD works to establish an environment that fosters the academic and personal growth of the resident students. He or she serves as an advisor to the college legislature (student council), provides personal advising, supervises the student staff, and promotes educational programs (e.g., study skills workshops, guest lectures, and résumé writing workshops). The student staff members of each residence hall serve as peer advisors, stimulate social and educational programs, report maintenance concerns, and provide the residents with important information regarding campus programs and policies.
The University is committed to an on-going revitalization project to upgrade all of its residential facilities. The revitalization project, now in its second cycle, includes new furniture in bedrooms and public areas, enhancements to social and recreational facilities, and modernization of the HVAC systems. The University has constructed nine additional residences, known as the West Apartments, which house approximately 1,200 upper-division undergraduates. These three-story buildings are air-conditioned and fully furnished, with full kitchens.
Each residence hall has public lounges, laundry rooms, and recreational facilities. Halls are also equipped with telephone, Ethernet, and cable television hookups, with quality television reception as well as access to more than 50 cable stations (including HBO). There are also state of the art fitness and computing centers located in every Quad, open free of charge to all residents. The fitness centers feature Cybex circuit training, LifeCycle exercise bikes, stair and elliptical machines, and free weights. Aerobics classes are taught in some centers, and staff is available to develop and monitor personal fitness plans for all users.
Computing centers featuring the most current technology in desktop computing run all Microsoft Office applications and provide access to electronic mail and the Internet. Trained staff is available in each center to provide technical assistance and guidance.
Several quads have dining halls. First-year and transfer students living on campus must participate in one of the meal plan options during their first two semesters of residence. Most residence halls have been designated as cooking-free buildings and students living in those buildings are required to enroll in one of the meal plan options offered by Campus Dining Services. Many residence halls offer the option of quiet communities, which have become increasingly popular with the residence hall population.
A large percentage of the on-campus activities take place within the residence halls. Hall Councils are student councils within each building empowered to spend the funds allotted by the Undergraduate Student Government. Hall Councils and the Campus Residences staff plan numerous social and educational activities, including hall dinners, movies, parties, guest speakers, cultural events, academic and career information sessions, and study skills workshops.
The Residence Hall Association, representing all students who live on campus, addresses important issues of concern to quad residents, including an annual review of the residence hall budget. Students are encouraged to become active members of this organization.