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Life in dorm creates sense of community on Baylor's campus

March 25, 2003

By Hannah Lodwick

Baylor 2012 hopes to make Baylor a 'truly residential campus' by requiring the entire freshman class of 2004 to live on campus. The administration is aware that in order to encourage sophomores and juniors to continue living on campus they need to provide a different product than the dorms we currently have. This different product will be the North Village Residence Hall, in which officials hope that students will have a wonderful experience while living there.

I like the ideas that the office of campus living and learning is proposing. I have lived in the dorms for two years and have opted to stay yet another year because I have found that there are many advantages to living on campus.

Dorm life is convenient. Dorm residents never have to worry about finding a parking space before class. It takes no longer than ten minutes to get from one side of the campus to the other. The few times I have forgotten to set my alarm and awake 10 minutes before class, it is a relief to know that I don't have to spend extra time finding a parking space.

A common stereotype of dorm life is that residents' freedom is restricted. I don't agree with this. Yes, there is a community leader but no, residents don't have to report to them every time they decide to catch a late movie or buy a 99-cent taquito from Whataburger at 11 p.m. The new visiting hours have helped alleviate some complaints about not getting to spend enough time with family and friends. Thus, the stereotype that freedom does not exist in the dorms is not necessarily true. The only reason why residents have to go through the front doors after midnight is for safety. I am sure that whether someone lives in the dorms or in apartments, they don't want people who don't belong there coming in.

In my opinion the best thing about living in the dorms is that there is a true sense of community. No, not community showers, although I should add that community showers are not bad either. There is no worrying about cleaning the bathrooms or buying cleaning supplies. But back to camaraderie. Life-long friendships develop with from the people who live in the dorms. I have met people from all over the world and have learned many things by simply having a five-minute conversation with my next-door neighbors.

It is also interesting to see how people add a personal touch to their dorm rooms. They make them feel like home and equip them with every living necessity. Dorm rooms come to life when people adorn the walls with posters or hang multicolored lights.

I applaud the campus living and learning officials for their efforts to keep students centered around campus. Baylor is one of the few universities that provides a close-knit family environment, and by keeping students on campus and accommodating their needs, we very well may be one step closer to being a Tier One university.