Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 16, 2018


Changes at MU Take Time

Tiffany Williams


The means of keeping students happy on campus is a big priority for any university, but some changes might need more time than others.

Last year, Manchester University made a major decision with regard to housing on campus. The offices of Student Experience and Residential Life designated East Hall and most of Garver Hall as the only means of residence for first-year students in the 2018–2019 academic year.

It was decided that putting first years together would help strengthen their college experience. This includes helping first-year students to develop stronger ties with other individuals and groups as well as better connect them to campus resources.

Manchester University made some serious changes in order to keep the sophomore through senior students happy. In order to make sure upperclassmen would have equal opportunity, the university lowered the price for Schwalm Hall so as not to force anyone into suite-style living if they did not want or could not afford it. On the Manchester website it says, “Administration is looking for potential ways we can make updates to Schwalm in the near future.”

Certainly the university is trying to keep students happy. However, monetary changes are not the only thing that happened as traditions in Garver Hall and East Hall have had to be modified or introduced to a new hall in order to keep them alive.

A lot of first-year complaints are that there are few upperclassmen that are present to keep other first years in check. “There are always problems in dorms, despite if it’s all first-years, upperclassmen, or combined,” says Erin Brock, an RA for Manchester University. “First-years especially are learning how to adjust to their new college life, but all college students ultimately go through the same problems. As long as first-years know who to go to or how to stay out of trouble, things should be fine.”

A few other problems that have been reported are the lack of social opportunities with upperclassmen. “From what I’ve seen and experienced, there’s a clear divide between floors and even within the same floor because everyone is still struggling to find their footing,” says Jenn Wagner, a first-year residing in Garver Hall. “The RAs are doing the best they can but there isn’t a unification of everyone, which I think coincided with the original goal of the first-year dorms.”

While the transition to having all first-year dorms has not been the easiest, there are a few things first years can do to help feel more connected to their residence halls and community. According to Erin Brock, “RAs are required to put on multiple events throughout the year for the students to take part in, allowing to get to know their fellow residents.” If students would like to branch out and meet more upperclassmen, there are a variety of clubs on campus that first years can join.

Changing East Hall and most of Garver Hall into first-year residence halls was not an easy decision but going back to the system Manchester used before so shortly after would only cause more issues with students. While it is the goal of the school to promote community while they study, it is not guaranteed to be an immediate success.