Changes to dorms and the dorm life experience for students will be implemented by the Office of Residence Life throughout this year.
Over the summer, freshman halls Sikes and McKinzie were fitted with new hardwood flooring, while about half of the dorm halls were upgraded to more eco-friendly sustainable air conditioning units.
“We really want to provide students with exceptional living spaces,” said Shannon Kaczmarek, director of residence life. “We have five words that really hit at the foundation of who we are and what we do and those include belonging, advocacy, safety, intentionality and spirituality.”
Another aspect of residence life created to facilitate a new experience is the tiered pricing of dorms, which began three years ago. Under this system, dorms are priced differently to reflect what the dorm has to offer.
“While some freshman will choose Nelson, they like the building but they also like that they are paying $1000 less to live in this building,” Kaczmarek said.
Tiered pricing was introduced in 2016 in addition to Dillard Hall.
The pricing of female halls is listed in order of most to least expensive: Dillard Hall, $6,800 per academic year; Morris Hall, $6,200 per academic year; Barrett and Sikes halls are both $5,850 per academic year; Dillard Hall, $6,800 per academic year; Gardner Hall, $5,200 per academic year; Adams Hall, $4,900 per academic year and Nelson Hall, $4,400 per academic year.
The pricing for male halls also changed though there were no dorm additions. Edwards Hall costs $5,850 per academic year, Mabee Hall costs $5,200 per semester, Smith Hall costs $4,900 per academic year and McKinzie Hall costs $4,400 per academic year.
A new emphasis will also be placed on spiritual formation while living in dorms, with resident directors implementing new ways to challenge students to grow in their faith.
Scott Busby, residence director of Barret Hall, said the leadership of Barret will focus on the theme verse of Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain,” and create Bible studies as well as group service projects to help students develop their spirituality and to show them how rewarding that responsibility is.
“I think that especially on a Christian college campus, spirituality and the learning that happens in a residence hall go hand in hand,” Busby said. “I count myself very privileged and honored to be a part of that. It’s one of the aspects of my job that I value and appreciate the most.”