Students weigh convenience and freedom when deciding where to live

Zoie Flores

Audrey Beach, exercise physiology graduate, gets comfortable while studying on her apartment bed in Sundance Court. May 5. Photo by Arianna Davis

Moving away from home and onto a college campus for the first time can be a nerve-racking experience. Students get a newfound freedom and are faced with many decisions to make. Being able to decide where to live on campus is a tough one.

There are four residence halls on campus and three apartment complexes for students to choose from, providing lots of options for new and returning students.

Dining Updates

Students living in the residence halls are required to buy a meal plan. They are also available to students living in on-campus apartments and off-campus as well. The food court was renovated in 2015, adding Chick-fil-A and a Burrito Bowl. Starbucks was opened in Moffett Library and an Einstein Bros Bagels in Dillard. Students can use their meal plan and dining dollars at all of these locations.

Residence Halls

Living on campus is a way to get involved in activities happening at the university. Clint Coulter, director of residence halls, said, “Living on campus is proven through research that a student is better prepared academically. They tend to have a higher GPA and higher graduation rates.”

He explains how living on campus helps out socially as well.

“Residents are surrounded by other students in the building that my have similar interests or the same major,” he said.

This helps students make new friends and meet people that could possibly help out with studying if they have the same classes.

Living on campus allows students to visit  the library and labs more often so there is a quiet place to study if it is hard to focus in their rooms. Students only have to pay one fee each semester that covers rent, utilities, TV, and internet. This is much easier than having to worry about paying rent each month in an off campus apartment.

Now that Legacy Hall is open, students can no longer reserve rooms at the off-campus Mustang Village Apartments through university housing. Living on campus comes with responsibility and following university housing policies as well. While living in residence halls, residents must check in their guests and follow the curfew for how late their guests can stay.

There are four residence halls on campus: Killingsworth Hall, Pierce Hall, McCullough-Trigg Hall, and Legacy Hall, which opened last fall.

All residence halls feature communal kitchens and laundry rooms, providing easy access from the resident’s rooms. There is air conditioning, cable TV, and wireless internet available as well. These services are included in the price of the room.

Killingsworth is a 301 bed, six-story hall designated for girls only and features semi-private rooms with twin beds and mini fridges. There are two communal kitchens in this hall as well as private bathrooms located in each hallway across from the resident’s rooms. Pierce, the boys hall, is designed the same way, but is much smaller than Killingsworth, holding 227 beds and a similar set up for the bathrooms.

McCullough-Trigg Hall is a 152 bed, co-ed residence hall. Although it is open to both boys and girls, there is one gender per floor of the six-story building. The fourth floor is reserved for Honors program students. McCullough-Trigg offers more privacy because its floor plan has two bedrooms, each with a closet and a door, sharing a living room and vanity area. The rooms also contain mini fridges and living room furniture. Four students share one bathroom with a toilet and a shower. It’s similar to living in an apartment.

Emily Sledge, biology junior, and former McCullough-Trigg resident said, “I liked how we had our own rooms, and only shared a bathroom with the people next to us.”

Sledge said it was nice to have her own space if she wanted it.

“If we wanted a movie night, it was nice to have a place with a couch and extra chairs,” she said. “So everyone didn’t have be in your room.”

Resident Assistants, or RAs, are assigned to each floor in every residence hall to help incoming freshman adjust to college life and get them involved on campus.

Nicole Buchanan, education junior and Sunwatcher RA, said, “As an RA, I like to help my residents get involved and plan events based on their likes.”

This semester she took some of her residents on volunteer trips to help the humane society, faith missions, and the women’s shelter.

“Living on campus allows students to become acclimated to the university,” Buchanan said. “Students build lifelong friendships allowing them to get more involved on campus.”

Legacy Hall is the university’s newest hall. The rooms are T-shaped, unlike the Z-shapes rooms of Killingsworth and Pierce, so there is a divider wall separating the two sides of the room. Instead of carpet, there is vinyl flooring and it will provide the same amenities: internet, cable, vanity and sink area with storage and a mini fridge.

The first floor has no rooms, it is all common space for students to sit and relax. The north side of the building is a recreational area that has a pool table and a convenient store. There is also a multipurpose room with a big projector screen which can be used for presentations or movie nights.

Legacy also has learning communities. Students enrolled in a Living Learning Community, or LLC are housed together with access to faculty and staff. Every community has a different color.

Kristi Schulte, director of residence life and housing, said, “What strikes me about Legacy Hall is the way that community forms within the building. I feel as though the lounges have been transformational in shaping the way community is formed.”

Because of the shared lounges and kitchen areas, it’s not uncommon to see groups of students watching television together, playing board games, or simply hanging out.

“At the beginning of the year, students appeared to be connecting in these “neighborhoods” with one another,” she said. “As they became more comfortable with one another, they began to connect with other communities throughout the building.”

Schulte also mentioned seeing more traffic in the Market Street Learning Commons.

“The small group study rooms in the United Supermarkets Community Learning Commons have been very popular. It’s difficult to find a time of the day when this area or the recreational area is not in use,” she said.

The Market Street Learning Commons will be open 24 hours, seven days a week beginning in mid-August.

Scuttle said the Sunwatcher Clubhouse is going to be renovated and turned into the administrative services building, but the plans have been delayed at the moment.

Apartment Complexes

There are three apartment complexes on campus — Sundance Court, Sunwatcher Village and Bridewell Court. All of the complexes have cable TV, wireless internet, and utilities included in the payment each semester.

Bridewell Court apartments are for graduate students or students with families. Unlike the other on-campus housing options, Bridewell uses 12-month contracts.

Sundance Court is the newest apartment complex on campus. The units are connected by hallways, giving it a hotel feel. The complex is located on the edge of campus just across from the wellness center. There are four-bedroom, two-bathroom units and two-bedroom, two-bathroom units available to students. All units include a full kitchen, laundry area, and full-size beds in the bedrooms.

Sunwatcher Village, a garden-style complex, offers more privacy compared to the rest of the on-campus housing options. It is located across from the three residence halls in the middle of campus. The bedrooms also have full-size beds and the units come equipped with full kitchens and and a washer and dryer.

Carlie Hughes, psychology junior and current Sunwatcher resident said, “I like that its the same setup as real apartments. I also like how it comes furnished so we don’t have to buy the furniture ourselves.”


First Bank
Student Affairs & Enrollment Management
Department of Foreign Languages
The Yard Food Truck Park
Dr. Billie Doris McAda Graduate School
Career Management Center
Frank & Joe’s Coffee House

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