TCU Daily Skiff Orientation Issue 2004
Frog Fountain
TCU dorms: our second home

By Holly Johnson
Skiff Staff

At a school like TCU, where more than 3,000 students live on campus, it makes sense for incoming freshmen to be concerned with the adjustment to dorm life.

But fear not, students and faculty in residential services say. They assure residents are well taken care of.

“There’s so many people here that care about their experience and want to make them feel at home,” said Barbara Hawkins, associate director of residence life.

Hawkins admitted that sharing a small space with another person can pose challenges, but she said that students are carefully matched with one another based on preferences they indicated in an online form.

Karin Lewis, coordinator of assignments, “spends hours and hours” pairing roommates, Hawkins said.

Even with a compatible roommate, students still face the task of adjusting to living in a large community — with community showers.

Senior Abbey Jones, a resident assistant in Sherley Hall, said this is probably the most overrated worry, explaining that all residents have sinks in their rooms and can keep their feet protected in the bathrooms by wearing shower shoes.

She added that any other worries can usually be calmed by getting to know the dorm and the people in it.

“Leave your door open when you’re there,” she said. “Go meet your RA. Get involved in Hall Council. Go to wing events and hall events.”

Hawkins also advocated the open-door policy, and said she loves to peek in the rooms when visiting residence halls and see the unique decorations that make each room a home for the people living in it.

She said residents also should not forget about safety. Locking doors and escorting all visitors are key to keeping residence halls safe.

“You are responsible for everyone who lives in your building,” Hawkins said.

As long as students make the effort, residential services officials say the years living in a dorm can be some of the most memorable of a lifetime.

“I think they need to look at what a great experience it will be,” said Koleta Hatfield, hall director for Brachman Hall. “Look at the friendships they’re going to make, the freedom they are going to have.”
Dorm life
Photo by Sarah Chacko
Sophomore political science major Brett Grayson (left) reads in his dorm room in Milton Daniel Hall while his roommate, resident assistant and junior philosophy major Kelly Achilles (center), and freshman English major Stephen McPaul (right) converse.
TCU Daily Skiff ©2004
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