|Abstract or Summary
- The decision to attend a university creates many important decisions for a young adult, with one of the most important being the choice of where to live while they make the transition into independent adults. Many choose to live on campus during this critical time. The differences that exist, and the impacts on the students as a result of this choice, are crucial to the experience the students have during their time spent at the university and the impact on the students during their liminal time.
This study was conducted with the purpose of providing a better understanding of the influential factors within the three different on campus residential programs at Oregon State University (OSU), focusing on the community and relationships built between the student residents, the beginning of the liminal transition students embark on, and the impacts their residential environment have on that transition; gender differences and issues the students
perceive in their residential environment; and the impacts of the role of the RA, both on the student residents, the university, and on the RAs themselves. In total, 17 students were interviewed for this study, with 5 respondents being RA’s.
One of the greatest factors that can influence the experiences of the residents in the buildings and residential options discovered through this research is the gap that exists between the students and the university. The RAs, and the importance and difficulties of the role they hold within the programs, is also another one of the major findings of this research. The students also go through an important transitory time during the first couple of years at the university, another significant factor learned through this research. These factors are integral to the experience that each student has and as such the university may find value in implementing some of the recommendations that arose from the findings:
Implement programs and events whereby the university’s idea of what the freshman experience contains is explained to the freshmen and an infrastructure is created whereby the students can anonymously take their concerns and find help. The freshman experience is a very real and important time for the students during their liminal time.
Increase the level and amount of communication and interaction with the RAs on campus. The RAs are the link between the university and the students, and as such the gap that exists between the university, the RAs, and the students is dependant on the RA’s role.
Increase the differences between the themes of the buildings in an effort to provide a differentiation between them.