The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 2 - 80

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

Residential Academic Support Spaces

	 Table 2
	 Inclusion and Accessibility Checklist of RASS's

	
Wheel-chair
accessible paths

Northside

Eastside

Westside

Southside

X

X

X

X

Desks with adjustable
heights

X

Braille signage inside RASS

X

X

Braille signage outside RASS

X

X

X

Handicap-accessible button
to enter RASS

X

X

X

Handicap-accessible button
to enter building where RASS
is located

X

X

X

X

71%

57%

86%

43%

X

Diversity resources
Inclusion and
accessibility score

based dimensions of diversity (e.g., books,
magazines, or flyers advertising identity-based
resource centers on campus).

RECOMMENDATIONS
Recommendations were made individually by
the research team members (faculty, housing,
and residence life professionals) and student
research team members (former and current
users of the RASSs, along with nonusers). Recommendations to bolster usage and improve
the student experience were organized and are
presented by each of the five CUES dimensions of the college environment: practicality,
community, awareness, propriety, and scholarship. The additional researcher-developed dimension of inclusion and accessibility is also
discussed.
80

The practicality dimension emphasizes the
instrumental function within the college environment. Of all the recommendations, practicality was represented the most within the
improvements suggested by the research team.
A particular recommendation was that "supplies [being] filled would benefit students, and
maybe even adding different kinds of supplies,
such as scissors, pen/pencils and white out
would help." While some supplies are provided
in all the support spaces, there are differences
in the stocking and type of supplies. Thus, expanding the offering of basic office supplies
and ensuring availability could increase the
practicality score of a support space, specifically
that of Northside, as it scored lowest on this dimension. Additionally, practicality could be improved with "a better sign outside . . . but there

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING

is a building near the [RASS] that says [community center] which is not the [RASS]." Better
wayfinding signage could improve the access
to and usability of the space. A final suggestion
was "more whiteboards to accommodate students or adding second monitors to computers
since students just have single screen laptops."
Some locations have mobile whiteboards, wallmounted whiteboards, or walls for dry-erase
markers to write on; however, not all locations
have whiteboards. Additionally, students bring
their own devices and favor portable options,
so providing adequate table space is important. Alternatively, adequate table space (e.g.,
Southside, Figure 5) could accommodate larger
monitors or multiple monitors, which may be
practical for some homework or course material
(i.e., accounting, design, etc.).
For the community dimension emphasizing social cohesion and friendliness, one

comment on improvement was that the RASSs
"lack any art which I feel would make them
more comfortable as spaces. I also think that
posters or maybe other forms of media that
promote academic ideas such as cooperation,
scholarship, integrity, respect" could be included. Depending on how this recommendation is
operationalized, it may improve other dimensions as well. For instance, the scholarship and
community dimension may be improved if
artwork or motivational quotations connect to
an academic theme from former institutional
leaders (e.g., presidents, commencement
speakers, notable alumni). Continuing with
the idea of art, another recommendation was
to "find a way to let the student make the area a
'home.' For example, a creative wall where they
can write encouraging comments for other students." This recommendation may help each
RASS engage users of the space in meaningful

	 Figure 5
	 Southside RASS with Individual Computer and Study Space

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
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 2 - Cover1
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