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Articles: Residence Halls

ESL ASSIST—Computer science student Yihan Liu,  who is from China, signs out an Amazon Dot Echo from his Arizona State residence hall. He plans to use the device to improve his English. (Charlie Leight/ASU Now).

Arizona State has partnered with Amazon to offer free Echo Dot smart speakers to about 1,600 students, most of whom live in the new Tooker House residential hall.

Nationwide, the scope of faculty and staff housing programs varies as much as campus locations do.

Nationwide, the scope of faculty and staff housing programs varies as much as campus locations do.

Over two dozen higher ed institutions signed the federal Fair Chance Higher Education pledge to drop criminal background questions from applications in June 2016. (Gettyimages.com: dan henson1).

Louisiana is the first state in the nation to formally prohibit all public higher ed institutions from asking applicants about their criminal history.

Iowa State is partnering with EdR and River Caddis Development (Memphis) to add 320,000 square feet of student residential and mixed-use retail space to the southwest corner of campus.

Most higher ed institutions have issued plastic campus cards for decades based on a 30-year business model. Perhaps it’s time for administrators to review this process in light of current technology and dramatic shifts in generational expectations.

The Core Campus Project—a mixed-use addition to Clemson University—includes student housing, retail and residential dining, and is also a centralized home for the Calhoun Honors College.

The newest addition to the Boca Raton campus is a 96,000-square-foot state-of-the-art football practice facility and academic space.

Breaking the poverty cycle: Marcy Stidum not only created an apartment for homeless students, but she also helps them with financial planning and job searches.

By the end of August, two students had already lived in an emergency-housing apartment dedicated to the homeless at Kennesaw State University outside Atlanta. And the unit, one of the first of its kind in the country, had opened only two weeks earlier.

Mega-flexible: District House is centrally located and designed to be accessed by all students, not just residents. Modular furniture allows design and usage flexibility for residents.

District House, The George Washington University’s new residence hall, overlooks historic sites in the nation’s capital.

A 12-story, 342,000-square-foot mega-dorm, it accommodates nearly 900 students and includes six dining franchises, conference rooms, a performing arts center and campus food pantry. The energy-efficient structure, which uses LED lighting exclusively and has low-flow plumbing, is targeting LEED certification.

Public-private partnerships are a growing trend that allow universities to fund the construction of new buildings and, if desired, turn over maintenance and operations to skilled partners. Structuring these decades-long partnerships for a successful outcome involves careful planning on the big decisions and the details.

In 2016, news outlets across the nation reported several accidents and inconveniences in private student housing developments.

In Baltimore, a Morgan State University student was fatally stabbed in such a housing complex. At the College of Charleston in South Carolina, a student fell over a sixth-floor railing and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

And on the eve of finals, 80 UNC-Charlotte students were evacuated from a private housing complex because their building was sinking and deemed unsafe.

Although Granville Towers, located across the street from UNC Chapel Hill’s campus, was built in 1964, it has been refurbished and updated multiple times by EdR, which manages the 1,327-bed residence hall. Student amenities include weekly housekeeping services for in-suite bathrooms, on-site dining hall and fitness center, a community kitchen, study lounges and a gift-wrapping station.

“What advice do you have for administrators about making long-term relationships with firms like yours beneficial for both parties?”

“Colleges and universities must clearly define their primary objectives and maintain a degree of flexibility with respect to their approach in ultimately determining the business relationship with their private sector partner. By their very nature, P3s are not ‘business as usual’ and therefore require clarity of purpose and flexibility in approach.”

Strengthening the community: An entire residence hall at Onondaga Community College is now dedicated to about a dozen themed living/learning communities—proving you need not be at a four-year institution to experience the living/learning experience.

A dozen or so living-learning communities at Onondaga Community College are designed around themes such as wellness, criminal justice and STEM. About 30 percent of students who live on campus will be a part of such of community this school year.

The Fair Housing Act defines only dormitory accommodations that should be made for therapy pets. (Photo: Gettyimages.com/mssponge)

Pets can help students cope with stress, depression and other mental disorders. But until recently, this well-documented remedy did not guarantee a space for therapy animals on campus.

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