Upscale Residence Hall Helps Students Expand Their Creative Abilities

Upscale Residence Hall Helps Students Expand Their Creative Abilities

By Mary Fracchia
The Razorback Reporter

Music echoes through the halls and the smell of fresh timber and acrylic paint still is strong upon entering Adohi Hall, the newest residence hall on the UA campus.

First-year students in five majors now have the opportunity to be a part of state-of-the-art living-learning communities.

“Our Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Housing, Florence Johnson thought it would be great to partner with creative majors as the plans for Adohi Hall were in the beginning stages,” said Stephanie Adams, associate director for Academic Engagement for University Housing. “So faculty members were brought in to discuss amenities and services that would benefit students living there.”

Retention and GPA data for living-learning community students is tracked by University Housing and then compared to students who do not participate, Adams said. Research shows that retention from freshman to sophomore year is higher, but found little to no change in GPA.

Music is in its fourth year and previously was housed in Humphreys Hall, Adams said.

This is the first year that the UofA has offered living learning programs in four more majors.

Approximately 80 students are enrolled in the Adohi learning center, Adams said. Architecture has the most – 18 students. The other four concentrations have 8-10 students in Adohi.

The goals of living-learning communities focus on interaction among students and faculty and one another, Adams said. Enrollment allows students to engage with faculty in their respective fields to get connected with their particular department, learn about opportunities available to them and talk about ways to be successful. Engagement among students allows them to create study groups and bonds with students of the same major very early in their college careers, Adams said.

“The purpose of having this facility and making us live together and cohabitate is having some interdisciplinary action between the different living-learning communities,” said Tyler Osterman, Peer Ambassador for the Music living-learning community.

Adohi Hall opened in fall 2019. It can accomodate 708 students, and is coed. Additionally, it serves as the location for the Architecture and Design, Art, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Music and Theater living-learning communities, Adams said.

Many resources are available to living-learning community participants and Adohi residents, Adams said. This “creative community” maker’s space includes 3D printing, a laser cutter, an area for drawing or acrylic painting, three sewing machines, movement studio, recording studio, performance area and seven practice rooms. With the touch of a button, two of the practice rooms allow students to change the type of audience sound the room simulates.

This environment was created with insight from faculty partners in order to make it useful for residents, she said.

“We know between architecture, art, theater and music, usually their practice spaces in academic buildings shut down after 6 p.m. and they still need to practice,” Adams said. “We wanted to be able to allow them to practice where they live.”

Enrollment in the living-learning community adds no additional charges to students. The only fee is the price of housing in the residence hall: $4,283 for a single room and $5,353 for a double room in Adohi. Living-learning community students are the second group behind honors students in the housing selection process and are given priority for Adohi Hall, she said.

Living-learning community residents in Adohi live in “pods” of rooms, which are the traditional dorm layout and share one bathroom, Adams said. The pods house 10-12 residents. Living-learning community student pods are located on eight floors in Adohi.

In addition to living in the residence hall where the community is housed, living-learning community students must also enroll in the zero-credit seminar that is offered, she said. This seminar meets bi-weekly and can include programming featuring effective study habits or inviting faculty to come and speak to students.

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Mary Fracchia

Mary Fracchia is a fourth year student at the UofA studying journalism with a focus on sports and editorial news. She is a member of the Lemke Digital Media Lab, where she writes stories focusing on the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. Fracchia aspires to be a sideline reporter for college football after her graduation in May.

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