Living and Learning
Students and Professors Move Into New Housing Complex
CAMPUS NEWCOMER Jon Claude Colbert breathed with excitement as he lugged his belongings from the parking lot into his room in the new residence halls.
Colbert is looking forward to making friends, becoming involved in campus programs and activities, and decorating his room with basketball memorabilia.
“I’m just so excited, I have butterflies. It’s my first time away from home,” said the first-time freshman from Rancho Cucamonga whose parents and sister helped him move to college. “Everybody here has made me feel welcome. I’m happy to be here.”
It was move-in day on Aug. 17, as more than 1,200 first-year students, with parents, siblings and friends in tow, came to campus. The students now call the new residence halls, which were designed for freshmen, their home away from home. The demand for housing from incoming freshmen was so great that some are residing in the apartment-style residence halls, which were built previously.
The new, $143 million student housing and dining complex more than doubled the housing on campus. The new complex offers students more than the traditional dormitory experience, said Fred Lipscomb, director of housing and residence life.
Living among the students are two professors — Erin Hollis, assistant professor of English, comparative literature and linguistics, and Susan Jacobsen, associate professor of English, comparative literature and linguistics and director of the University Honors Program. Hollis and Jacobsen were selected for the first Faculty-in-Residence Program, aimed at promoting the “living and learning experience,” Lipscomb said.
“These two faculty members will play a critical role in bridging the gap between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs,” he added.
John W. “Jack” Bedell, emeritus professor of sociology and Academic Senate chair, said studies show that students living on campus have a higher graduation rate and become more involved in scholarly and other campus activities.
Bedell lauded the effort to launch the faculty residence program as a move to get more students engaged with faculty members, and as a result, “their learning is enhanced.”
Hollis, whose cat, Oz, also lives with her, wanted to live on campus to cultivate her love of teaching and learning, and to promote student academic success and personal growth.
“I want the students to know that what they’re learning in the classroom is meaningful in their daily lives,” she said.
As students take in their new surroundings, they are amazed by the complex’s “wow factor,” Lipscomb said.
The sprawling, state-of-the-art complex indeed awed parents like Karen and Darrell Tjaden of Valencia.
“My daughter is so lucky to be one of the first ones to live here,” said Karen Tjaden, who helped her daughter, Kelly, move in.
“I’m so excited for her,” she said. “I think this first year will be especially bonding. She’ll make new friends — some for life — and she’ll be forced to grow up.”
August 18, 2011