With the housing lottery approaching fast, the time is coming for students to decide where they want to live in the coming year. For rising sophomores, there are a couple options.
Sophomores have the options of living in The Village in Kostka or Claver. However, there is another option for these students: residential colleges.
Students at Fairfield are used to the idea that the residential colleges are housed in Loyola Hall, Faber Hall, and 70 McCormick Road and that these buildings house the Ignatian Residential College, the Creative Life Residential College and the Service for Justice Residential College. However, that will all change next year when the new residence hall will be completed and ready for student use. According to Director of Residence Life Ophelie Rowe-Allen, next year, the Ignatian Residential College will be housed in the new residence hall, 42 Langguth Road, Creative Life will be in Loyola Hall and Service for Justice will continue to be housed in 70 McCormick Road.
Sophomore Teresa Sauer commented on these changes.
“I don’t think it should matter that much,” she said. “At the base of it, it’s not about the building. It’s not like Service for Justice can’t exist anywhere but McCormick Hall, and I think that’s kind of the point of it, that the community stands on its own.”
Rowe-Allen believes that the residential college program is attractive to students who are “seeking to find a purposeful residential living experience, experience a rich academic community, participate in leadership and service opportunities, be global thinkers … and recognize the value of diversity and inclusive excellence in both thought and action.”
Sauer, who is a member of the Service for Justice residential college, agreed with this sentiment.
“[A residential college is] a group of people who all generally share similar goals and it’s nice to live in a community that has a central focus and something that you can all relate to, even if you’re completely different people, completely different majors, you all have that base level of awareness and caring in Service for Justice, and in Faber you all have creative thinking,” said Sauer. “When you interact with people in your res hall you always have something to talk about, which is nice.”
Some of the benefits of the program highlighted by Rowe-Allen include the “fun and engaging community,” the opportunity to integrate living experiences with academic learning and to “engage with others outside of the classroom to help them explore, reflect, and act on who they desire to become as global citizens” and the chance to forge long lasting relationships with their fellow residential college participants.
Sophomore Rachel Abriola, who lives in Loyola Hall and is a participant in the Ignatian Residential College, agreed that the community is an important aspect of living in a residential college.
“I like it because of the groups we have here; the meetings are really nice, and you get to know people more intimately,” Abriola commented. “We have a lot of really nice programs, and I know the RAs all lived here, so I feel like it’s really special in that way.”
Abriola contrasted her experience in Loyola to those of her friends in The Village.
“I really like [living in Loyola] because I feel like I know everyone who lives around me,” she continued. “I know people who live in The Village who say they don’t see as much of their neighbors as I feel like I see here so I like it a lot here.”
According to Rowe-Allen, between 350 and 400 students apply to live in the residential colleges each year.
The first residential college, the Ignatian Residential College, was established in the Fall of 2002, with help from a grant from the Lilly Foundation. According to Rowe-Allen, “In the 16 years since the Residential Colleges began, the programs has expanded to accommodate more students to engage in our mission of providing a purposeful residential living and learning experience.”
Sophomore Katie Novak, who is a member of the Ignatian Residential College, is having a positive experience in the program and recommends it to first-years thinking of applying.
“I’ve enjoyed living in a res college more than the freshman dorms because everyone’s just more welcoming and open with each other and more willing to hang out in the commons and go to events that the RAs put on,” said Novak.
First-years who are thinking of applying but don’t know which residential college is right for them can take the Buzzfeed quiz created by Residence Life for help with deciding.
The application for participating in the residential colleges will be available until Feb. 16.