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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Carleton to continue all first-year floors

<st year of floor life at Carleton is one that can impact your college career, and the newly implemented all first-year student floors are no exception. This academic year, first-year floors were piloted on the first floor of Goodhue and third Myers.  

“[All first year floors are] fairly common at many institutions and there is research to support that it helps students get connected to campus and these students typically report a higher satisfaction,” said Tanya Hartwig, Associate Director of Residential Life.

Sarah Weiler, director for the residential area that includes third Myers, explained that the office had considered the idea for many years and, based on feedback given in a resident survey, there was a significant number of students in support of the idea.

Cheyenne Joshua ’19, an RA on first Goodhue and a former first-year resident on third Goodhue, said that she thoroughly enjoyed the experiences she had last year on her predominantly first-year floor, so much so that she wrote in her RA application that she would like to be placed in a mostly first year dorm.

While it is only Joshua’s first year as an RA, she acknowledged the unique situation she has been put in. She spoke positively of the first Goodhue social dynamics. “Everyone is really close, [and] there are always people in the lounge and not too many parties” Joshua said.
In addition, since these students are new to Carleton, she and her co-RA have had to directly support their residents more than a typical RA would.

“I get asked more questions. And they get locked out of their room more often,” Joshua said with a laugh.

Amie Bigirmana ’20, a resident on third Myers, did not expect to live on an all first-year floor. Regardless, she said that she has enjoyed her living conditions.

“I think it’s great that we are all freshmen because we really relate to each other,” Bigirmana said.

Third Myers has an additional aspect intended to stress community in that fact that it is a Living Learning Community. Weiler explained that this means about half the residents on the floor take a course throughout the entire year together. The two-credit course, taught by Joe Baggot and Stephanie Cox, is titled “Civil Discourse on a Diverse Campus.” Carleton was able to implement this program thanks to an Arthur Vining Davis Foundation Grant.

“[These students] are having these conversations in class that we are hoping they bring to their everyday life in the environment where they are living,” Hartwig said. “In addition, they can easily do homework together, as they are already living together.”

Bigirimana, one of the residents in this course, said she liked not only the issues discussed, but also the chance to connect more with her floormates.

Hartwig, based on Res Life’s evaluations and feedback from the student body, reflected on the benefits of these floors.
“We’re hearing about less noise complaints. People have said that they have really become connected to their neighbors and their floors as a whole, just overall having a good experience,” Hartwig said.

Hartwig also that as of now, the plan is to keep third Myers and first Goodhue all first-year next year.

“This was really a pilot year, and it makes sense to continue the floors,” Hartwig said.

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