The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 2 - 77

Phia S. Salter * Dustin K. Grabsch * Jaren D. Crist * Jagadesh Lagisetty * Lane B. Dyer * Estephanie Olvera

observations, the researchers met to discuss
the coding scheme and to confirm the uniformity of researcher understanding of each
category. This meeting allowed us to ensure
that each researcher operated from the same
framework before conducting an initial observation. Each assistant researcher also met with
one of the two lead researchers after their first
observation to discuss any questions or confusion regarding their observations. All observations were conducted over six weeks.
Once the final observation was conducted,
the forms were submitted to the lead researchers and aggregated. Then we had a final debriefing meeting to discuss each RASS, coding
results, and recommendations. When differences existed in observations, we discussed
potential reasons for differences and attempted
to resolve them. During data collection, each
researcher was encouraged to make field notes
of anything potentially relevant to their observations. These observations were also discussed.
This process allowed researchers to capture the
setting exhaustively, including elements not
explicitly described by the coding scheme. The
meeting was recorded, extensive notes taken,
and the lead researchers met again to summarize the discussion and conclusions.

FINDINGS
To understand how the four RASSs might
facilitate student development and academic
success, we organized our qualitative observations and findings around the CUES
framework, with the addition of the researchercomposed diversity and inclusion component.

Practicality
The first concept, practicality, aimed to capture
whether each RASS reflects a safe, easy-to-use,
76

functional space. Coders used eight items to
indicate on a 1-5 scale the extent to which each
RASS is generally clean, uncluttered, well lit,
well stocked, and spacious. Each RASS scored
well on this dimension. Each one is well maintained, and three of the four have staff who
check supplies, answer student questions, and
reset the space each day (e.g., after furniture
is moved to meet different study needs). To
the extent that differences existed among the
RASSs on this dimension, it was noted that
while supplies are provided in all the residential academic support spaces, there are differences in their stocking and type. In addition,
lighting conditions vary across the spaces. Although all of them are lit adequately for practical purposes, there were differences: Westside
and Southside have significant natural light
from large walls of windows (Figure 1C and
1D), while Northside and Eastside are not perceived as similarly bright (Figure 1A and 1B).

Residential Academic Support Spaces

spaces. The RASS ranking the least on this
dimension was Northside (Figure 1A), which
has more open space than the others but has
limited flexibility in reconfiguring the space
for different needs.

Neither one is attached directly to a residence
hall, and each is located peripheral to the main
campus. These factors seem to impact usage,
and fewer people generally means less noise.
For example, during the observation periods,
the maximum number of people observed in
Northside and Westside was 7 and 10 users,
respectively, in comparison to Eastside and
Southside, where the maximum number of
users observed was 27 and 57, respectively. It
also should be noted that Northside is located
close to graduate student housing, which may
impact the type of work conducted in the
space (i.e., graduate students working on independent research rather than undergraduate
students with group projects). In terms of encouraging courtesy, most RASSs have at least
one element that contributes to consideration
of others. However, scores for Northside were
impacted negatively because of the lack of recycling bins.

Propriety
The concept of propriety aimed to capture
whether each RASS reflects a quiet space and/
or encourages politeness and consideration of
others. This concept was captured in two different ways. First, coders utilized two items
to indicate on a 1-5 scale the quietness in
and around the RASS (Table 1, Propriety A).
Second, coders indicated the presence (+1) or
absence (-1) of three items: reminders to be
courteous, tools inside the RASS to help keep
it clean, and tools outside the RASS, such as
recycling bins, to help keep it clean (Table
1, Propriety B). In terms of providing quiet
space, Northside and Westside ranked highest.

Community
The concept of community aimed to capture
whether each RASS reflects or encourages
a friendly, cohesive, group-oriented place.
Coders utilized seven items to indicate on
a 1-5 scale the extent to which the space exhibits inviting, flexible, group-oriented, and
lively qualities. In our observations, Eastside
ranked the highest among the coders for community (Table 1). This distinction may stem
from its proximity to the residence halls, as
it is one of the spaces directly attached to a
residence hall building. As can be seen from
its layout (Figure 1B), it includes many areas
within the space where group work can be
conducted in both private and semi-private
fashions. Also, it is the most colorful and
has the most flexible configuration of all the

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING

	 Table 1
	 Coding Results of CUES
			
			

	

Northside	 Eastside	 Westside	Southside
					
n	 Mean	
SD	n	
Mean	
SD	n	Mean	
SD	n	
Mean	 SD

	Community		

8	

2.04	 0.65	 7	

3.39	 0.45	 9	

2.85	 0.28	 9	 3.08	 0.34

	 Propriety A		

8	

4.44	

0.56	

7	

3.79	

0.63	

9	

4.28	

0.75	

9	

2.78	

1.06

	 Propriety B		

8	

-0.08	

0.49	

7	

0.90	

0.25	

9	

1	

0	

9	

0.55	

0.33

	 Scholarship A		

8	

2.22	

1.33	

7	

3.04	

1.19	

9	

3.42	

0.81	

9	

3.44	

0.92

	 Scholarship B		

8	

-0.88	

0.35	

7	

0.29	

0.49	

9	

0.22	

0.44	

9	

0	

0

	
Practicality		

8	3.59	0.47	7	3.63	0.65	9	4.14	0.49	9	4.11	0.45

	
Awareness A		

8	2.96	0.7	 7	2.90	0.32	9	3.67	0.5	 9	3.56	0.47

	 Awareness B		

8	

-.38	

0.35	

7	

0.39	

0.40	

9	

0.33	

0.43	

9	

0	

0.25

V O L U M E 4 6 , NO. 2 * 2 0 2 0

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The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 2

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 2 - Intro
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