Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Res Life makes changes to housing, lofted beds

Augustana College Residential Life is making major changes for fall of 2014. Incoming first-years will be allowed to pick housing based on a theme, and all students will choose housing online as well as having to pay to have beds lofted above three feet.

“The sole purpose is to support students both academically and in their social integration, so we worked on making sure that we were in line with what the best practices are in our field,” said Alisha Smith, assistant director of Residential Life. “We ask the question: does it serve our students, and how can we improve that?”

Students are beginning to witness these changes, which started with online housing.

“The online process is nice…of course there’s going to be bumps in the road whenever you unveil something new, but long term this is more student-centered because it allows more transparency for what’s open and what they can secure,” Smith said. The system will be used throughout the academic year for things like room changes.

While online housing will affect all students, themed living is focused primarily on incoming first-years. There have been concerns from the student body about themed housing, but the staff at Residential Life believes it will positively affect the Augustana community.

“It is focused community living so it’s really no different than what we’ve always done,” said Smith. “Best practices say this (themed housing) is what relates in student retention and student satisfaction where they live. The more integrated a student feels in their living community, the more invested they are in the experience.”

Smith compared themed housing to choosing a neighborhood to live in. All neighborhoods have the same access to amenities, but depending on his or her interests, someone will choose to live in different parts of the town.

The same goes for themed housing. All students will have the same access to the programs and will still be an equal part of the Augustana community, but now students will be able to explore more activities and events that interest them.

“With the changes that we’ve been having, at first I was kind of skeptical,” said sophomore Brendan McBride, an admissions ambassador. “Now that it’s been explained, I’m more supportive of it now, because you can join a hall but don’t have to participate in the themes they have, but having the option there is nice. I think you’ll get students more involved, which is always great especially your first year.”

In addition to these changes, students will have to pay $99 to have their beds lofted next school year.

“It’s because there is a significant amount of liability that goes with lofting your bed that high off the ground. If it is done improperly it can be very dangerous for the students,” said Christina Lorge-Grover, director of Residential Life and assistant dean of Student Life. “And then on top of that if they don’t loft correctly…our pieces get damaged, they get busted, they get broken, they get lost, they get stolen. It’s been a huge financial drain every year replacing those pieces.”

When students return in the fall, their beds will already be lofted the way they request by a private company and then taken down at the end of the year. Students will be able to loft and de-loft their beds throughout the year, but only if the company receives several requests to come out to campus.

Students are also more than welcome to buy their own lofts as long as they stay under the housing guidelines. Next year, students will have to pay the company online, but Residential Life is open to looking into allowing students to be charged through their room and board in the future.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Res Life makes changes to housing, lofted beds