Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 29

for living environments, and the
degree of privacy and levels of noise
and safety. These are all perceived
effects that result from an amplified
sense of community derived from
high levels of student engagement.
Well-designed public spaces encourage students to engage in interactions that are not merely social; they
also create opportunities for them to
interact with diverse peers, engage in
intellectual conversations, and work
on group projects.
The latest trends in design that
contribute to student engagement
include spaces that allow for a diversity of programs, create the right mix
of public and private areas, and are
strategically located to define smaller
communities within a building. For
example, a single study or lounge
on a residence hall floor is likely not
enough, as it will be heavily utilized by
students in nearby rooms, which may
make others feel that they're invading someone else's territory. This is
particularly true if the only common
space is at the end of a long hallway.
Well-designed buildings include multiple public spaces per floor, typically
one per community within each floor.
(A sub-community may be defined as
a wing of the building or by the area
covered by a resident advisor.) The
physical characteristics of these highly
used spaces cater to what students
consistently define as reasons they
choose to stay in a space: natural
daylight supplemented by good lighting for evening hours, comfortable
and flexible furniture, and acoustics
designed to create a quiet environment. These spaces take advantage
of every surface, including walls and
tables with writable surfaces, in an
attempt to provide every opportunity
to continue the academic conversation
beyond the classroom.
Many colleges and universities
are looking at targeted renovation
projects in existing buildings to boost

This recently renovated common
space at Trinity provides many
of the key elements students say
they want: natural light, movable
furniture, and a convenient
location.
PHOTO COURTESY @ ROBERT BENSON

student engagement through social
activity and support of group studying and project work. Trinity College
in Hartford, Connecticut, recently
upgraded nine common spaces in
first-year residence halls to better support students' first-year experience.
Their homegrown mentoring program, the Bantam Network, created a
nest system, with each nest consisting
of fewer than 75 students and supported by a team of mentors. From a
yoga room to community kitchens,
these nine spaces incorporate warm
materials like wood ceilings and
flexible furniture, copious amounts
of natural daylight, and lively colors.
Jones Hall, a 1,300-square-foot space,
was renovated on the lowest level of
the building to include three distinct
zones in an open floor plan. The first
zone is an open kitchen with refrigerator, sink, oven, and microwave along
one wall and an 11-foot-long island on
the opposite side. The island supports
kitchen functions and includes power
and USB connections so that students
can plug in and work individually or
as a group. Lively blue wall tile joining
a blue overhead soffit defines this

area within the larger room. Chanel
Erasmus, Trinity transition fellow, recognizes the value of such a communal
area. "They say food brings people
together, and what better way to do
that than by building a kitchen within
these spaces where students can
cook, study, and socialize together?
This common space bridges the gap
between academic and social functions and is an incredible space used
for community building and forming
lasting relationships."
Nearby is an area of soft seating
surrounding a television mounted on
a wood-slat wall that continues above
to become a ceiling over this zone.
There are also areas that contain movable furniture with a variety of seating
options, paired with tables for smallgroup work. The rooms can support
several simultaneous groups or host
a larger meeting led by res life for
students within a nest. Jen Douglas,
area coordinator for South Campus,
says, "The students in my area love
the spaces - particularly the kitchens.
My RAs have also enjoyed using the
kitchens for events; they have given

MAY + JUNE 2017

29



Talking Stick - May/June 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Talking Stick - May/June 2017

Talking Stick - May/June 2017
Contents
Vision
Just In
Calendar
Your ACUHO-I
Transitions
Res Life
Facilities
Regroup
Conversations
First Takes
Around Student Affairs
New Members
Snapshot
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Intro
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - BB1
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - BB2
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Talking Stick - May/June 2017
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Cover2
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 1
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 2
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 3
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Contents
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 5
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 6
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 7
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Vision
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 9
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Just In
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 11
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 12
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 13
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 14
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 15
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 16
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 17
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Calendar
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 19
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Your ACUHO-I
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 21
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Transitions
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 23
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Res Life
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 25
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 26
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 27
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Facilities
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 29
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 30
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 31
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Regroup
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 33
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 34
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 35
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 36
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 37
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 38
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 39
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 40
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 41
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 42
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 43
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 44
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 45
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 46
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 47
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 48
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 49
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 50
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 51
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 52
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 53
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 54
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 55
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 56
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 57
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 58
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 59
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Conversations
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 61
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 62
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 63
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - First Takes
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Around Student Affairs
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 66
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 67
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 68
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 69
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - New Members
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - 71
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Snapshot
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Cover3
Talking Stick - May/June 2017 - Cover4
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