Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 2 - 68

of a private faith-based university. With this
premise, the content provided herein underscores the purpose of understanding how
gender and student housing type at a faithbased institution influence sense of community. More specifically, the importance of
investigating this relationship at faith-based
institutions can be viewed as being two-fold.
Foremost, it is vital to provide real application of student experiences, rather than relying on commonplace practices of broadly
applying noted student outcomes from large
public institutions. Additionally, spiritual
development and connection to institutional
mission play different roles in how students
experience sense of community in campus
residences at faith-based institutions than
they do in their peers at public universities.

INFLUENCE OF HALL DESIGN
AND GENDER ON COMMUNITY
DEVELOPMENT
Research focused on student housing design garnered increased attention throughout the 1960s and 1970s. A surge in student
housing construction in response to the
increased enrollment of returning wartime
service personnel led to early studies investigating the influence of residence hall design
on student outcomes (Baum & Davis, 1980;
Baum et al., 1975; Bickerman et al., 1973;
Crane, 1962; Heilweil, 1973; Valins & Baum,
1973; Wilcox & Holahan, 1976). Seminal
research on the influence of architectural
design on human behavior spurred investigations into campus design and specifically
residence hall settings, with a focus on room
type arrangements and their relationship to

crowding and student behavior. In one such
study, Baum et al. (1975) reported higher levels of perceived crowding from students in
traditional corridor-style housing than were
reported by those in suite-style housing.
Conventional operant definitions describe
corridor-style configurations as double-occupancy rooms opening directly off of a single
corridor, with a shared bathroom for occupants of the corridor, while suite-style configurations consist of several rooms (typically four to eight double-occupancy bedrooms)
clustered around a shared common living
area and/or bathroom facility.
	
Further research efforts of this era complement these findings, concluding that what
students perceived of as the spatial disorganization of corridor-style housing increased
their sense of overcrowding (Baum & Davis,
1980). Other studies revealed that residents
of suite-style halls were troubled by disruptive, unwelcomed interactions with persons
roaming the halls; the unpredictability of
social interactions with other hall residents
(Valins & Baum, 1973); and restricted social
group formation-all of which inhibited
their sense of community (Heilweil, 1973).
All in all, formative work in this field led to
understanding that " architectural variables
exert significant influences on the social climate of university residence environments "
(Wilcox & Holahan, 1976, p. 456). In spite
of research findings confirming connections
between student experiences and residence
hall design, interest in studying student
housing arrangements waned considerably
beginning in the early 1980s. Even still, there
is another student housing configuration that

. . . residence halls are also thought to be contributors to formation
of a sense of community, as these living spaces play an important role
in increasing opportunities for group affinity and shared association,
which are positively correlated with student persistence.
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