Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2 - 76

Quality of Life
Participants
The research was conducted at a small rural non-profit coeducational academic institution
in the Midwest that encourages first-year students to live on campus. Students can
have vehicles on campus, and a vast number of them-upwards of 50%-travel when
not in class and may not remain on campus during the weekends. The first-year students
who utilized on-campus housing for the school year connected to the timeframe of this
study is estimated at 20% of the total enrolled based on a self-report survey. Amongst
first-year students reported to live on campus, the vast majority reported to be White
students, with African American students being the second largest racial/ethnic identity
group. Given that this campus is of modest size, rural in nature, and surrounded by larger,
more diverse cities, the student body tends to be more homogenous.
Each residence hall has its own unique physical layout-high rise, low rise, and
suite-style-as well as corresponding characteristics related to programming design.
See Table 1 for an overview of the unique characteristics for each residence hall.
The nature of these residence halls was the only source of descriptive data for this
project, and no other demographic data was collected about the respondents. Given
the exploratory nature of this study, minimal demographic data was viewed as ideal.
RAs from all residence halls were surveyed at both the beginning and the ending of
a spring semester.
TABLE 1
Characteristics of Each Residence Hall
CHARACTERISTICS
Gender assignment
Learning community
Single rooms
Number of assistants per floor
Building capacity
Number of RAs
Number of floors per building
International students
First-year students
Upper-division students
Housing staff on site
High Rise (2)
Integrated
Identity-specific
academic interest
Yes
2
1,066
36
9
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
BUILDING STYLE
Low Rise (10)
Integrated
Identity-specific
academic interest
Yes
1-2
2,053
73
4
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Suite-Style (2)
Integrated
None
Yes
2
696
16
3-5
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
76 The Journal of College and University Student Housing

Journal of College & University Student Housing Volume 48, No. 2

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