Let’s talk Sophomore Residential Colleges.  The idea for a residence college is not actually half bad on paper.  Each one has a different core value that the community within it tries to uphold and teach so that its members can learn and grow.  Currently, there are the Social Justice, Ignatian, Leadership, Environmental, and Creative Living.  Each one provides retreats, mentor groups, and activities within the dorms. If you were a school the size of UConn and had a ridiculous amount of people with an equally ridiculous amount of housing options, the idea of res colleges might work.  We are not UConn however, and being a school of roughly 4000 undergrad students with less than 1000 of those as sophomores leaves a lot to be desired with housing.

Right now there are five res colleges on Fairfield’s campus, and only six buildings offered for sophomore housing.  Starting to see the problem?  What happened was people began applying for these colleges not really based upon the theme but more upon where on campus you wanted to live.  People wanted the suites so they picked Environmental or Leadership, people who wanted the new building picked Social Justice, and people who wanted a sick lounge picked Loyola.  Understandable considering no one really wants to live in Jogues.

I lucked out because I wanted to live in the suites and ideally in the Leadership Res college.  Yes, my leadership abilities have continued to grow, but I don’t attribute that to living in this dorm.   After a semester of living in the Leadership Residential College, I have learned many things including but not limited to: fireworks and doors do not mix, you MUST ventilate bathrooms when cleaning with bleach, mandatory meetings get nothing accomplished, and trash rooms just don’t exist.  I consider these life lessons.  Especially the bleach part -it’s just not fun…

This year, Fairfield mercifully decided to cut the number of residence colleges in half, dropping the Leadership and Environmental residential colleges altogether.  This is probably for the best but leaves many in the communities that are being cut wondering why they should even bother continuing the year.  To many, it is just a building to toss fireworks down hallways with a few inconvenient values, but to some it is something they actually wish to aspire to and grow with.

Fairfield should definitely look to reassess their ideas for the Residential College community, building up stronger themes, leaders, and mentors.  By doing this, they will allow students who actually really want to be in a community to be able to get involved and live the core values of these remaining Residential Colleges.  Everyone else who really doesn’t care as long as they live in a nice building can continue to do whatever they want, just please don’t throw any more Dimitri Salads down my hallway.


– Sent from my iPhone

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