On-campus options offer community living

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    Click. Click. Click.

    The sound of students typing their papers breaks the silence of one of the study lounges in Samuelson residence hall.

    “Ballin!”

    First-year students cheer as their friends challenge each other to a game of pool or foosball in the second-floor lounge of Milton Daniel Hall.

    Clack. Clack. Clack.

    A group of first-year women excitedly walk down the hallway of Colby Hall in their high heels on their way to a formal.

    Each TCU residence hall has its own sights and sounds. The halls are as diverse as the students themselves.

    Finding a Niche

    “Each hall has a different experience,” said Chris Sewalish, Milton Daniel Hall director. “It’s all about fit and what kind of community we can offer that will be most comfortable or provide the most benefit.”

    About 55 percent of TCU’s undergraduate students live on campus. These on-site residences include the 13 operational residence halls, the Greek houses and the GrandMarc, said Craig Allen, director of Residential Services.

    First and second year non-transfer students are required to live on campus or at home with their families.

    First-year students can live in traditional halls that have communal bathrooms or rooms with suite-style bathrooms. Next year, first-year women will be able to live in Colby, a female-only hall, or any of the coed freshman halls.

    First-year students who prefer suite-style living can choose to reside in Foster, a freshman-only hall that offers both communal and suite-style bathrooms. Next year, Foster will house four of the new Freshman Interest Groups, which live in wings with students who have similar interests.

    Bridgit Breslow, Foster Hall director, said FIGs will help freshmen fit in.

    “FIGs will provide a way for students to develop a connection to TCU,” Breslow said.

    Upperclassmen who want to live on campus will primarily live in the Campus Commons, Tom Brown-Pete Wright apartments or the GrandMarc.

    The Commons’ halls have suites with two, three or four bedrooms, a bathroom and a common living area. Carter and Samuelson halls will house the Living Learning Communities – wings in which upperclassmen who share common interests or values can live together.

    “Students who share a common interest can live together and develop friendships,” said Megan Osborn, a resident assistant in Carter and Samuelson halls.

    James McCombs, an RA in Wright and King halls, said the LLCs also have specific programming that focuses on common interests. He said TCU is one of the first universities to focus on interest-specific programming.

    Luke Morrill, Waits Hall director and Residence Hall Association adviser, said he thinks the suites are the next step in the natural progression of housing.

    Another housing option for upperclassmen is the Tom Brown-Pete Wright apartments, which Morrill said provide students with the freedom of apartment-style living and the convenience of being on campus. Each apartment has four bedrooms, a kitchen, two bathrooms and a living room.

    The primary difference between the Tom Brown-Pete Wright and the GrandMarc is that the GrandMarc is more independent.

    Although the GrandMarc is not university-operated housing, it sits on TCU property and fulfills the sophomore residency requirement, Allen said.

    Breslow said she thinks the sophomore residency requirement keeps students from “falling through the cracks.”

    “It’s awesome TCU has a sophomore residency requirement because it’s one more year we can really do whatever we can to help students have whatever (resources) they need,” Breslow said. McCombs said the residents give each hall its own personality.

    “It’s all about the mindset,” McCombs said. “That makes each hall what it becomes.”