Entering a new phase in their life, freshmen moved into the new $30 million first-year housing complex Aug. 17 amidst excitement and trepidation.
The new building located on Lassen Street between the University Park Apartments (UPA) and the track field, encourages a close community atmosphere between freshmen. Floor after floor, doors are posted with the names of new students.
These students will experience a different style of living than what is offered at the UPA. Unlike the old dorms which look more like apartments with a living room, kitchen, bedrooms and a bathroom, the first-year dorms are just bedrooms. Two students will be living in each bedroom and the dormitories aren’t equipped with kitchens.
This is all in the spirit of promoting a community living environment right from the start where students will get out of their rooms, said Johanna Bush, 20, who has been a resident advisor for two years.
The new living arrangement doesn’t seem to faze the students. Tanya Servellon, 18, got more than what she expected.
”I was expecting a smaller room and it’s pretty spacious,” said Servellon, a criminal justice major. “The closet’s bigger than I thought it was.”
Boxes, clothes, desks, beds, food and many other things filled the rooms while parents decorated the dorms for their daughters and sons.
Parents like Karla Servellon, mother of Tanya Servellon thinks this is a great learning tool for her daughter.
“Whoo! It’s great. I think it’s a great learning experience,” said Karla Servellon, as she cleaned a drawer. “It teaches her to be independent. She’ll be close enough from home but she’ll have her independence.”
Though students may feel nervous as they move in, students like Tasha Dubson are comforted by the fact that they got to know their roommate beforehand.
“We’ve been talking for about a month,” said Dubson, a communication studies major. “She’s really nice. I’m happy I have her as a roommate.”
The students have the ability to post information about themselves online. Anything from whether they like to smoke or not, if they are messy or clean, or if they go to bed early or not.
Facebook, e-mail or text messages make this easier because it allows the students to get to know their roommates before they move in.
Rosuhi Chen, 20, who has been an exchange student since high school said this process made it easier.
“I preferred an exchange student. So I sent her an e-mail and chatted on Facebook. That’s how I know got to know her,” said Chen, a film studies major.
In addition to getting acquainted with each other, students were also introduced to some of the innovative features of the building.
Among the changes, the new dormitories are energy efficient. They have automatic sensors that detect when a room is unoccupied. If a student were to leave their dorm without turning the light off, it automatically shuts off. This also works for the air conditioning system.