Tarleton RL&L plans for student success in future

By Heather Sims – 

The office of Residential Living and Learning has made plans to accommodate the increasing number of incoming students by adding a residence hall for fall 2014 and cheaper rooms for returning students.

Dr. Mike Leese, Executive Director of Student Life Development, says that “The new 500 bed residence hall is being designed as a first-year hall to accommodate living and learning communities.” Gary Stout, the facilities coordinator for Residential Living and Learning, said that they plan for the new residence hall to be a co-ed facility.

Legacy Hall, built in 2011, is Tarleton's newest residential facility. (Photo courtesy of Tarleton State University)

Legacy Hall, built in 2011, is Tarleton’s newest residential facility.
(Photo courtesy of Tarleton State University)

A new residence hall is not the only change in residential living; there are also a few new additions for returning students. Shelly Brown, the assistant director for Residential Living and Learning, says that they have included 300 rooms from the Grove apartments and added a new value choice to the Bosque Crossing for students who need a cheaper option. Even though there are additional options for off-campus living, students who choose them will still have to abide by the school’s guidelines. “This requirement is not tied to hours, but rather how many semesters you have lived on campus for first-year students and transfers,” Stout said.

Tarleton has gained the reputation of being a “suitcase” school, meaning that many students go home every weekend. Now that plans for a new residence hall have been made, this solution could possibly help cut down on the number of students leaving on the weekends.

The idea is that having a nice living environment would motivate students to stay at school instead of going home. “The more students are connected to their peers, the more they are involved in other campus activities and organizations,” Leese said. “And the less likely they are to go home frequently.”

Leese also believes that the residence in which a student is placed during their time on campus has an impact on their college experience. “Studies have shown that students who live on campus in residence halls their first two years in college have higher GPAs and are more likely to return each semester and graduate,” he said. “Residence halls are where students expand their learning from the classroom, and are active with academic and student life experiences with their peers.”

Essentially residence halls are a part of the foundation for Tarleton that makes it what it is. Students can expect that the members of Residential Living and Learning are doing everything they can to ensure the new dorm helps students achieve their university goals.

There have been questions raised about the demolition of some existing residence halls, but Brown says that there are no residence halls being torn down this summer. “Residential Living & Learning is currently undergoing a master planning process where the future of our facilities is under discussion,” she said. She added that they are currently in the “planning stages for a building to open in fall 2014.”

More information about this process should be announced in the residential master plan once it comes out at the end of summer 2013. For more information on Tarleton’s expansion plans, see the Master Plan on the Tarleton website. 

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