Themed housing is not just for first-years

By Amanda Ayers

Opinions Editor

On a whim this past spring, I submitted an application to live on the “Athena” residence hall. Created by the lovely Liz Yale ’12, this living space was set aside exclusively for young women wanting to discover and engage the rest of the University about the role of women on campus. While we have only formally met as a hall on one occasion thus far, the benefits of living on a themed upperclassman hall are already evident. I think that it would behoove the university to continue supporting the creation of themed housing for upperclassmen as it could impact residential life for many students in a very positive way.

I know many upperclassmen that have attested to the fact that they unfortunately never took the time to get to know who they are living with. As upperclassmen, we are in a very different position living in a dorm than first-year students. While first-years are looking to keep their doors open and get acquainted with people on their halls, upperclassmen have already established relationships on campus. They have found their groups of friends already and often see no reason to branch out and make an effort to converse with their neighbors. A themed hall could be an excellent remedy to this trap. Organizing upperclassmen dormitories in this manner encourages students with common values and interests to live in close proximity to one another. This is an excellent incentive for them to make the extra effort to get to know who they are living with.

A second reason why themed halls are excellent is because the entire campus is a beneficiary, not just the people living there. I am looking forward to the programs that “Athena” is brainstorming that aim to engage the entire student body. Better events and activities will happen on campus if students with similar passions are given more resources to connect. This is exactly what the university is encouraging by supporting themed housing for upperclassmen.

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