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Bridging ‘da pond’. Adapting an Apartment Style Student Community for New Students Christine Burke and Nancy Parsons Housing, Food and Conference Services, Memorial University. Memorial University. Founded in 1925 as Memorial University College and granted university status in 1949.

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bridging da pond

Bridging ‘da pond’

Adapting an Apartment Style Student Community for New Students

Christine Burke and Nancy Parsons

Housing, Food and Conference Services, Memorial University

memorial university
Memorial University
  • Founded in 1925 as Memorial University College and granted university status in 1949.
  • Memorial is the largest university in the Atlantic region, with 17,500 students engaged in full and part-time studies at undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Each year, the graduating class numbers in excess of 2,000 students.
  • Faculty and Staff: The university employs 950 full-time faculty (and 850 sessional instructors) and 2,300 administrative and support staff, plus 2,000 students in part-time jobs.
overview of housing at mun
Overview of Housing at MUN
  • Paton College is a residential complex located at the eastern end of Memorial University's St. John's campus. This complex, which houses approximately 980 students in ten dormitories, offers both single gender (female) and co-ed living.
  • Housing, Food, & Conference Services currently operates two on-campus housing solutions housing approximately 1500 students:
burton s pond apartments
Burton’s Pond Apartments
  • Burton's Pond Apartments is a residential complex located at the eastern end of Memorial University's St. John's campus. It was built in the mid 1970’s.This complex houses approximately 512 single students in four apartment buildings (also referred to as "courts"): Cabot, Cartier, Gilbert, and Guy.  Offered to senior undergraduate and graduate students only. Apartments are assigned to same sex gender only.
  • Also, 15 two-bedroom family apartments are available in Baltimore Court.
  • The sixth building, Corte Real, is a support facility. It houses the Billy Miller Common Room, the Computer Room, the International Student Centre as well as providing washers and dryers for BPA residents.
bpa fall 2007
BPA - Fall 2007
  • Approximately 200 first year students in the total population in BPA of 512 students.
  • Rate increase from $1273 to $1479 per semester (a 16.2% increase).
  • An on-campus housing environment where returning students were not guaranteed bed spaces, even when meeting minimum academic requirements.
millennial students
Millennial Students
  • Characteristics of Millennial Students (Howe and Strauss, 2000)
    • Special
    • Sheltered
    • Confident
    • Conventional
    • Team-Oriented
    • Achieving
    • Pressured
  • Other descriptors
    • Diverse
    • Ambitious
    • Connected
    • Service Oriented
    • Excellent time managers
    • Structured
    • Protected
    • 75% have never shared a room with anybody (Howe and Strauss, 2003)
  • Universities are not only recruiting millennial students; they are also recruiting their parents. These are parents that have not dropped their children at soccer games; they have stayed and cheered them on.
what the research says
What the Research Says
  • Student retention can be correlated to the quality of physical spaces on campus (Hansen and Altman, 1976)
  • Retention research emphasizes the importance of the interaction between students and the campus environment (Banning, 1984)
  • Residence Hall living plays a vital role in the social and academic success of college students (Astin, Green and Korn, 1984; Chickering, 1974)
  • Students are demanding more in the way of creature comforts. These creature comforts involve requests for privacy, better lighting, better power and data connections, individual control of heating systems, and closer proximity to services such as dining, retail and mail services (Pocorobba, 2001)
  • Changes in residence hall room design have the potential to positively impact a student’s sense of self and sense of place with regard to certain aspects of functionality and personalization (McKelfresh, Clemons and Banning, 2005)
transitioning students
Transitioning Students
  • New students rarely arrive on campus with the required skills for cooking, cleaning or resolving roommate conflicts. These are planned as part of Fall orientation in the “Your Choices” program. (For more information on this program see presentation by Darren Newton yet to come at this conference)
  • BPA has always functioned as an environment for senior students who have acquired more of these skills and therefore has provided a higher level of independence and a lower level of support than is provided in our dormitory style residences.
  • The acquiring of these skills by first year students living in BPA will now coincide with all the other activities and stresses of living away form home for the first time and adjusting to life as a university student.
new resources
New Resources
  • Two additional Residence Life Officers for on-campus housing are being hired (live on campus/on call) and an additional front line staff person for the Housing general office.
  • Increased training, responsibilities, duties and remuneration for proctors in BPA
  • New programming will provide social events and academic support including academic dons and peer tutors.
  • Additional research and evaluation of our programs will now be possible.
physical changes
Physical Changes
  • New kitchen and living room furniture in all apartments.
  • New built in computer desks and bookshelves in each bedroom.
  • New furniture and layout for Billy Miller Common Room.
  • Newly refurbished computer room and study room in 2006-07
changing culture
Changing Culture
  • This process has been started with current students in BPA for the Spring 2007 semester.
  • Meetings are ongoing with the current BPSA (Burton’s Pond Student Association) to start the process of changing the culture for Fall 2007 and beyond. For Fall 2007, the BPSA will be decertified and replaced by four individual courts societies.
  • Events planned for Spring and Summer 2007 are designed to encourage community building and individual court pride and competition.
creating community and communities
Creating Community and Communities
  • Current BPSA executive and students transferring from Paton College are being recruited to form Interim Executives for the four new individual court societies.
  • Use Paton College constitutions as a guide for the development of constitutions for the new court societies.
  • Previously a point system has been in place for Paton College orientation and this will now be extended to include the BPA courts.
  • They will also now be included in Intramurals and to participate fully in our Winter Carnival.
  • We are trying to provide a similar experience as in the traditional dorms. This is hindered by the lack of common areas in the individual court buildings so we we are trying to provide an alternative to the common rooms though the use of the Billy Miller Common Room in Corte Real.
  • Will be available as drop in space for all BPA residents (card access) and for booking for events for individual courts.
  • Will be used to provide social and academic programming by us and also by the court societies.
  • We are trying to encourage the development of court pride and identity.
  • We are providing court t-shirts (in new court colours now being chosen by students) for Fall 2007.
  • There will be a competition for individual court murals in the Billy Miller Common Room.
  • We will work with each court over the coming year to develop court mascots as currently exist in each Paton College House.
  • It is always a challenge to prepare for unexpected arrivals, especially when the new arrivals seem like an entirely different species from the current residents and they all want to make the space their home……
always interesting
Always Interesting
  • ……and accommodating everyone is being done in a challenging environment!
Christine Burke

Nancy Parsons