Ross Hall: Exploring Student Satisfaction and Community Development

Emma Thom Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Elise Edwards Butler University
A new college student’s first year living experience often has a great impact over how the rest of their four years will go. Additionally, research done by anthropologists such as Haley Pierce reveals that, “while residence hall living is a transitional housing situation for young people, it can create an impression that represents their first experience of living independently.” This independence can make or hinder a student’s wellbeing and drive to succeed. While many student affairs offices within colleges and universities make it a point to cater to incoming first-year students, there begs the question of what is actually useful in practice and what isn’t. This ethnography looked into the first-year dorm Ross Hall at Butler University. When searching to find what these key aspects that contributed to student experience were, I found that the community, dorm room size, and facility style were factors that encouraged positive experiences within Ross Hall, while the physical condition of such spaces garnered negative reviews. These factors and spaces mostly encouraged further socialization patterns, such as the participation in drinking culture, that prompted not only Ross residents but students from other dorms to tag Ross Hall as their “main hangout space.” However, the physical condition of such spaces prompted negative feelings of Ross in the sense of being “forgotten.” This ethnography looks to better understand the above-mentioned factors and patterns in relation to student satisfaction, not only within Ross Hall itself but with first year housing in general, in order to better improve living conditions for future Butler Bulldawgs.

Anthropology
Oral Presentation

When & Where

02:00 PM
Jordan Hall 238