Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 2 - 69

Community Association

remained virtually unstudied by comparison:
conversions of single-family homes into single-gender student accommodations. These
stand-alone facilities were considerably
smaller than contemporary residence halls,
which are more heavily populated. Based
on a common arrangement, campus houses
typically sleep 15-40 students and offer communal lounge spaces, shared bathrooms,
and a variety of room sizes. The lack of more
recent scholarship on the influence of varying residence hall design types on sense of
community certainly indicates a missed opportunity for research, yet what remains even
more important is seeking to understanding
how hall design can help increase SOC when
there are opportunities for and access to peer
networks, social support, and community
affiliations (Heasley et al., 2015).
	
Beyond arguments supporting the need
to address deficiencies in scholarly work
merely for the sake of knowledge, the lack of
research in this realm has real implications.
Scholars suggest that without new data on
sense of community and its connection to
hall design, practitioners may be left speculating on how to best support important areas such as peer networks and relationships,
access to social support, and opportunities
for communal association when deciding on
the designs for hall renovation or new student housing projects (Devlin et al., 2008;
Heasley et al., 2015; Khozaei et al., 2014).
Short-sightedness in exploring how hall design influences sense of community may
result in decreased peer support, a lack of
shared emotional connection, and increased
social isolation (Heasley et al., 2020). These
negative experiences may then lead to a
sense of disenfranchisement within the campus community, decreased sense of belonging, and greater loneliness among residents.

66

The Journal of College and University Student Housing

	
Recognizing a gap in research, current
studies of student housing are increasingly
focused on the common thread of evaluating
residential student outcomes based on interactions with paraprofessional and professional staff (Boone, 2018; Brandt Brecheisen,
2015; Everett & Loftus, 2011; Healea, 2015),
academic programming (Buell et al., 2017;
Longerbeam et al., 2007; Spanierman et al.,
2013), and faculty engagement both from the
context of student learning and community
impact (Frazier & Eighmy, 2012; Rombough
& Johnson, 2015). However, few scholarly
pursuits investigate how student outcomes
are influenced by the physical space in residential settings, and even fewer consider
gender differences within specific campus
contexts (such as campus size, public versus
private, and geographic location). Still, some
past studies highlight differences based on
housing population density and occupancy
(Devlin et al., 2008; Hill et al., 1999), design
characteristics and amenities (Devlin et al.,
2008; Heasley et al., 2020; Khozaei et al.,
2014; Meir et al., 2007), and students' satisfaction with their social environment as a
predictor for academic success (Bronkema &
Bowman, 2017; Li et al., 2007; Wang et al.,
2004). Moreover, select scholars also report
notable findings on gender effects within student housing (Amole, 2005, 2009a, 2009b;
Kaya & Erkip, 2001; Najib et al., 2012).
	
Interest in understanding gender differences within student housing has been
spurred by some scholars, with a limited
number of studies taking place both internationally and domestically. Within this collection of scholarly work, gender is identified as
an indicator in determining students' satisfaction or dissatisfaction with residential college experiences. First and foremost, of notable significance are the studies by Bottom
et al. (2013) and Ferrari et al. (2009, 2014),



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