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The Northerner

New housing plans making room for more connections

Zachary Rogers, Staff writer

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To better accommodate incoming first year students, and in an attempt to promote participation in school events, Northern Kentucky University Housing will revamp the program known as “The Norse Experience.”

The program will include apartment-style living accommodations for first year students, feature the ability to request your living arrangements as a group, and even assign every student on a floor to one specific section of the University 101 course, which will essentially allow students to become more accustomed to their respective neighbors.
Although these changes are currently implemented, they will only apply to students who are beginning their college career in fall 2012.

“It would have been great to be in homeroom setting my freshman year. It would’ve been really familiar and comfortable,” said senior marketing major Ryan Duvall. “I don’t think that a lot of us have a strong sense of involvement here [at NKU], but if we were actively encouraged to do so by people we live near then … I probably would’ve gone to a lot more events.”
University housing has taken three of the six hallways, or “breezeways,” that are located in Woodcrest Hall and devoted them entirely to first year students.

“This gives the first year students who are in the apartment-style facilities easier access to other first years and easier access to their Residential Advisers,” said Assistant Director of University Housing Arnie Slaughter. “It also gives those RAs an easier time to develop those communities with the given knowledge that all the students living on their floor are first years.”
Slaughter said the group registry for students will be available for everyone through what is called the “Priority Room Selection Process,” and will work similarly to the class registration process with which many students are already familiar.

Known as “Friendship Clusters,” sections of NKU housing will be reserved for students who wish to sign up as a group with their friends or classmates. This will reduce the probability that students who wish to be placed near each other will be placed on opposite ends of the housing community.

“I have a couple buddies that I met on my floor freshman year, but me and my roommate got separated from them because we could only request one person to room with,” said sophomore Stephen Ryle. “We still go over to each others’ places a lot, but if we do the group thing then that’ll save us a lot of trouble.”

“A first year student who is confined to an apartment-style room has a tendency to wall themselves off and not be as involved with the NKU community as they could be,” Slaughter said. “We want those students to feel comfortable engaging themselves in new social experiences and have a good time overall, and we really want to continue adding academic proponents to our residential programs.”
University housing is working with the NKU Office of First Year Programs to potentially offer new students a University 101 class specifically for the residents of these new breezeways. Slaughter noted that there are classrooms built in some of the residential halls, so that students will not have to venture far to attend these classes.

For more information regarding the “The Norse Experience” and other first-year programs, visit http://firstyear.nku.edu/. If you are more interested in the Friendship Clusters or the Priority Room Selection Process, visit http://housing.nku.edu/.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
New housing plans making room for more connections