Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 2 - 81

Community Association

. . . 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.
SOC outcomes among students seems very
plausible. Findings further suggest that understanding how design type and gender interact in residential environments warrants
consideration, especially if sense of community is a desired outcome of the residential
experience. In other words, it is important
to study the effects of architectural design
relative to gender identity and its impact on
community association.
	
In terms of faith-based institutions in
particular, results from this study situate
applicable findings in a relational setting.
Furthermore, given the priority of spiritual
development and connection to the institutional mission, which is often espoused at
faith-based institutions, taking note of the
differences between the results of this study
and those conducted at large public universities is seemingly appropriate. Merit also
lies in considering intersections between the
work of Bottom et al. (2013) and Ferrari et al.
(2009, 2014), which explores the inclusion
and religious pluralism inherent in SOC development and the influence of on-campus
living arrangements on such formation. This
connection seems reasonable based on the
differentiated perceptions of communal association established through varied social
support, engagement in affinity groups, and
alienation. Leaders of faith-based schools are
also called upon to reflect with intention and
to think more deeply about the design choices of each residence hall in relation to the
intended gender of its inhabitants, as such
considerations may influence how community will be experienced within its walls.

78

The Journal of College and University Student Housing

	
Lastly, the methodology employed for
this study provides an adaptable model that
university administrators and scholar practitioners can use to drive decision-making processes on the type of residence halls to build
on their campuses. Such a model will allow
higher education institutions to make more
informed decisions, reinforced by research,
with regard to selecting the appropriate architectural design to support their ideal residential hall community.

LIMITATIONS AND FUTURE
DIRECTIONS
The present study has limitations. First and
foremost, focusing on student experiences
at only one institution of higher education
is a limitation. Though this study's findings
contribute to the growing knowledge of work
on SOC outcomes for residential college
students, more work in this area is needed
to expand generalizability to other schools
and hall designs. Still, it is believed that the
findings herein are translatable to varying
institutional types and provide insight into
inherent connections between architectural
design and community. Another limitation
is the ever-growing need to expand the way
gender is studied within the field of social
science research. Here, findings reported
the interaction effect of binary gender categories (women and men) in single-gender
accommodations. Interestingly, while the
topic of coed residence halls fueled much
discourse in the 1970s, today the relatively
new concept of gender-inclusive housing-a
living arrangement in which students elect



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