New residence hall offers students much more than just a room

New residence hall offers students much more than just a room

Burr Hall Residence
Steven Jara, East Campus residence director, visits with Burr Hall students Angelica Carlini, Elizabeth Carreiro, Jacob Frerichs and Dax Fouts.

For many college students, a residence hall is their first home away from home. It's not often that they get to live in a brand new space, but students living on East Campus will have an opportunity to do just that beginning this fall. 

In the heart of East Campus, the new residence hall will have many amenities that the 1950s-era Burr and Fedde residence halls, the current East Campus housing, don't have, said Steven Jara, East Campus residence director. 

The new hall has 240 beds in traditional-style rooms. Upper-class students have the option of living in apartment-style two- and four-bed units that have a total of 134 beds. The first and second floors on the traditional-style side of the building will be "dynamic," meaning a room with two male students might be next to a room with two female students. The remaining floors on the traditional-style side will be separated by gender. 

I was a first-generation college student, and it's nice to give back to the university that has given so much to me. Steven JaraEast Campus residence director

The open layout, more common area spaces, floor lounges and large meeting spaces better fit the needs of this generation of college students, who often like to study in groups and engage in group activities, Jara said. The courtyard with a fire pit will be the focal point. S'mores anyone? 

And, sometimes, small amenities are a big deal, such as much larger windows than those in Burr and Fedde, some of which overlook Maxwell Arboretum; soft water and laundry facilities on all the floors; and an elevator, which makes the building accessible and eliminates the need for students living on the upper floors to schlep their belongings up and down the stairs. 

In addition to students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the new residence hall also will be open to all students, including other East Campus programs such as those in the College of Law, the College of Dentistry and the Barkley Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic. "It will make us more diverse," Jara said. 

"I'm excited about the new residence hall, but I'm even more excited for the students and what we'll be able to provide for them," he said. 

Jara, who earned his bachelor's and is completing his master's degree from the university, has been the residence director for 10 years. "I was a first-generation college student, and it's nice to give back to the university that has given so much to me."