The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 2 - 79

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

Scholarship
The scholarship component represents the
extent to which a residential academic support
space reflects or encourages academic achievement and scholarly activities. As indicated
above, each RASS provides computers and
printers for students to use for academic enrichment. Coders used four items to indicate
on a 1-5 scale the extent to which each RASS
stocks other academic supplies, provides
access to academic (versus leisure) reading
materials, and has sufficient power outlets for
laptop usage (Table 1). Westside and Southside scored the highest for scholarship. These
spaces have an abundance of academic materials, and Westside is especially notable given
its usage. Observers also noted things such as
whether study tips are posted and the availability of tutoring, whiteboards, and stationery.
Northside ranked the lowest on this dimension. While Northside has the basics of an academic computing space (i.e., computers and
printer), it lacks other forms of academic enrichment. Given that residents living near this
RASS are older, perhaps academic materials
like study tips are missing because they may
be perceived as less relevant to the experiences
of graduate students.

78

The awareness dimension considers
how the space encourages users to

Residential Academic Support Spaces

	 Figure 4
	 Westside RASS with Natural Lighting

search for personal meaning through
self-understanding, reflectiveness,
and identity.

Awareness

opment and a sense of purpose (e.g., Mayer,
Frantz, Bruehlman-Senecal, & Dolliver, 2009).
As such, coders utilized three items to indicate
on a 1-5 scale the amount of natural lighting
and the ratios of windows and outdoor views
(Table 1, Awareness A). In this case, two RASSs
stood out: Westside and Southside. As referenced in the section about practicality, their
layouts include multiple exterior walls composed entirely of large windows allowing for
an abundance of natural light and a view of the
outside. Westside has a direct view of walking
paths that lead to an on-campus teaching and
learning garden, providing an optimal opportunity for reflection (Figure 4). Though Southside also provides outside views, the views
of nature are limited. There are a few visible
trees and bushes, but the view is primarily of a
parking lot and other campus buildings.

Two awareness components represented the
extent to which each RASS encourages reflectiveness, self-understanding, and identity.
First, we focused on a particular environmental cue promoting self-understanding and
introspection: views of nature. Psychological
and architecture literature have suggested that
views of nature can have a variety of impacts,
including reducing stress, facilitating social
contact, and contributing to personal devel-

Second, coders indicated the presence (+1)
or absence (-1) of four items related to reflexivity and self-expression in and around the
RASS: references to core university values
(e.g., respect, integrity, service) and opportunities for creative expression (Table 1, Awareness
B). When assessing awareness this way, Westside and Eastside ranked the highest, as these
spaces were more likely to refer to university
values and have mobile whiteboards for study-

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING

ing. However, none of the spaces featured art
or had other areas for civic or creative expression. Notably, this dimension and its relative
absence is also relevant to the cultural-psychological framework, as self-awareness and
perspective taking can serve as "meta-training"
for practicing diversity and facilitating positive
sociocultural change (Jones, 2019, p. 44).

Inclusion and Accessibility
The final component included items added to
the coding scheme by the researchers based
on a central mission and value of the university: diversity and inclusion. For this dimension, we considered the extent to which each
RASS reflects the practice of including people
who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized. In regard to inclusion and accessibility, coders indicated the presence or absence

of seven items related to inclusion in and
around the RASS, such as wheelchair accessibility, desks with adjustable heights, signage
including braille, and diversity-relevant resources. Table 2 includes all seven items and
check marks to indicate which dimensions
are present at each RASS. We also calculated
an inclusion and accessibility score, which
is the percentage of inclusion items present
in relation to the number of dimensions we
coded. Overall, there were several accessibility elements confirmed in all of the spaces:
wheelchair-accessible paths, braille signage
outside RASS entries, and handicap-accessible buttons or doors to enter the building
housing the support space. Notably, Westside
is the most accessible; we confirmed six of the
seven inclusion elements. However, none of
the RASSs have resources related to identityV 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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