First-year students gathered in Loyola Hall’s first floor lounge Tuesday, Jan. 21, for a chance to learn more about Fairfield University’s Residential College Program.
Students spoke to current and former “Res College” participants over yogurt parfaits about what the Res College programs actually are and what to expect from them.
Senior Christina Bogacz was one of the former Res College participants who spoke to first-year students. She lived in Loyola Hall during the 2017-2018 school year and was part of the Ignatian Leadership program.
A group of first-years, who wish to remain anonymous, said they felt better about the program after speaking to Bogacz. However, they still had concerns about the looming application process, including fears of not getting accepted into the program and the questions that will be asked on the application, as well as some of the more nuanced aspects of the Residential Colleges, including how the communities are actually formed within the program.
The main idea behind the program stems from the three 450 year old Jesuit questions that constitutes its tenets: Who am I?, Whose am I? and Who am I called to be?
“Because of the Res College program the three [questions] have continued with me and will always be with me. And just that process of always reflecting and thinking about my experiences definitely promoted that,” said Bogacz.
According to Meredith Smith, the Associate Director of Living and Learning in the Office of Residence Life, “The Residential College experience offers students the opportunity to develop strong friendships, participate in a retreat once a semester, attend amazing events, take dynamic courses that fulfill graduation requirements and meet-up monthly with a small mentoring group led by a community professional and peer mentor.”
There are currently three Residential College programs on campus, each focusing on a different theme. Ignatian Leadership is in 42 Langguth Hall, which opened as a resident hall in the fall of 2018. Prior to the building of Langguth, the Ignatian Leadership program was housed in Loyola Hall. The Creative Life program moved from Faber Hall into the quad, taking the open spot in Loyola Hall. Service for Justice remains in its original location at 70 McCormick Road. Within the residence halls, students are divided into small groups and are assigned a mentor, with whom the students have monthly meetings based on the theme of their Res College.
“I had a really amazing experience. My mentor group and I were really close. They became some of my closest friends that year,” said Bogacz. “We still try to keep in touch.”
Within these mentoring groups, the students also go on two retreats, one each semester. As a core part of the res college experiences, all of the students in each college are required to take a class called a “res college class,” with their fellow students, providing yet another opportunity for them to get to know one another.
“The community built within living in [a Res College] and having Happy Hour on Wednesdays and all of that gave me a community like no other I could have at Fairfield,” Bogacz said.
Applications are due on Feb. 3, 2020, and decisions will come out later in the semester. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the res college information page on Fairfield’s website.