Living in Irvington House: An Ethnography of Freshman Residence Life

Erin Mahan Butler University, Violet Daniels Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Elise Edwards Butler University
The first year of college sets the tone for a student’s whole experience at their university as it is when they meet their college friends, experience independence for the first time, and take their first steps towards figuring out what to do with their lives. Therefore, the many aspects of the first-year experience are important in shaping a student’s overall college experience. One piece of this is residence life as the first-year will usually live on-campus in a dorm-style building. Depending on different aspects within the dorm, this living situation could make or break how the student feels about their school and college life in general. Our goal with this ethnography was to learn more about the personal experiences of students and their feelings about the dorm firsthand. We found that there are many key factors that go into a student’s experience living in Irvington, but we discovered that the main ones were the roles of the Community Assistant and the quality of the physical spaces within the dorm. Looking at these pieces of the Irvington living experience, we were able to gain a better understanding of how Butler’s first-years actually feel about the new dorm.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

01:30 PM
Jordan Hall 238