Residential colleges make life easier

Resident life is a vital part of being in college.

National studies show that sutdents who get involved in college get better grades and do better overall. At UM’s residential colleges, students can get involved in the College Council, attend leadership retreats, participate in the hundreds of programs offered or apply to be a resident assistant.

“Living on campus is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said junior Patricia Coronado. “You can wake up 15 minutes before class and still make it on time.”

The residential structure at the University is patterned after Oxford University. Resident Masters-University faculty-have an apartment in the first floor of each of the residential colleges. Masters open their home to students to watch television, cook dinner and study-including Thanksgiving dinner for students that stay on campus.

“You will participate in a diverse community made up of fellow students, faculty and staff,” said Eric Arneson, associate director of the Department of Residence Halls. “You will treasure those relationships for life.”

In addition to the Resident Master, a Resident Assistant (RA), lives on each of the floors. This upper-class student is someone to turn to for any reason and at any time. The RA also facilitates trips, activities and dinners that the members of the floor have the opportunity to participate in.

Shelly Steele, a former RA at Stanford Residential College, saw her role as that of a facilitator for freshmen adjusting to college life.

“Incoming freshmen are excited to start their new phase of their lives,” Steele said. “I enjoy being a part of that excitement and eagerness. Besides, I love meeting the freshmen. The freshmen are my legacy.”

RAs are supervised by Resident Coordinators, who run the buildings day-to-day and handle major problems and disciplinary issues.

Furthermore, an Academic Advisor also has an office in both Hecht and Stanford Residential Colleges for the students’ convenience.

This year, laundry will be free in all the residential colleges, thanks to the efforts of the Student Government. Until last semester, laundry used to cost 75 cents a load.

Jaclyn Lisenby contributed to this article.

Stacey Arnold can be contacted at