The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 2 - 84

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

both a strength and limitation. Each researcher
provided rich descriptions of each space through
the coding scheme and field notes. In order
to increase trustworthiness (Lincoln & Guba,
1985), descriptions were coupled with the planning of themes in several meetings prior to collecting data. The majority of the research team
were undergraduate students, and a majority
of the RASSs were designed to accommodate
a traditional, younger undergraduate population. Some of the undergraduate researchers
had significant prior experience with some of
the RASSs. In this regard, they could have been
previously biased to favor or dislike one or more
of the spaces prior to the research project. Graduate students, faculty, and residential life staff
were involved in the research. The experience
of being a graduate student or faculty member,
as opposed to an undergraduate student, also
may have influenced their perception of the
spaces. For example, faculty, as nonusers, may
not see or value the same factors in a space that
undergraduates, as users, or staff would and
vice versa. We believe that adding these diverse
perspectives to the study enhanced the findings
and the types of recommendation produced.
The primary benefit of this research, just
as with POEs, is that when we shared our findings with residential life staff, they developed
short-, mid-, and long-term changes to the
RASSs. For this particular case, residence life
and housing practitioners took some immediate steps to make improvements. For example,
after recycling bins were noted as missing from
Northside, they were installed for student use.
Additionally, a greater variety and number of
office supplies were purchased and distributed to the four RASSs. For mid-term changes,
second monitors have begun to be installed on

84

some of the desktop computers available in the
RASS computer labs, and some artwork is being
mounted. For the long term, when new facilities
are built or renovations occur, decision-makers
may consider new layouts or design elements to
improve the six dimensions of the RASSs; these
may include building large areas where students can contribute in digital or manual ways
to a community wall or table. In conclusion,
environmental assessments like this study are
valuable for contributing to the knowledge base
and are extremely practical for improving the
services of residence life and housing professionals charged with bolstering study success.

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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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