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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Dorms good option for success

Michelle A. Monroe
Michelle A. Monroe / Arizona Daily Wildcat University of Arizona Police Department officials gave awards to UA employees and one student who helped them solve crimes or arrest people.

Students who choose to live in a residence hall may face a series of adjustments in terms of living accommodations, safety, grade point average and leadership opportunities.

A new living situation in one of the 20-plus residence halls on campus can be one of the most challenging aspects of entering college. Students will have to deal with a roommate in a space that may be even smaller than their room at home. However, some students feel adjusting becomes easier over time.

“It was easier than I thought to live with a roommate,” said Angel Sanchez, a chemistry freshman. “It was awkward at first, but once you get to talk to your roommate and get to know them, it becomes more of an easier transition.”

Settling into a new living environment also opens up the potential for residence hall crimes such as theft and underage drinking, according to Joe Bermudez, a UAPD crime prevention officer.

Most crimes are often a result of someone tailgating into the dorm, when someone follows a resident into a dorm without their knowledge. If students are careful, they can help prevent strangers from entering their hall and committing a crime.

“Crime prevention is a shared responsibility,” Bermudez said. “By the student doing their share by acting as extra eyes and ears, locking bikes and doors, they are taking away that opportunity for a crime to occur.”

Bermudez emphasized the need to always lock room doors in order to help prevent theft. Keeping a record of serial numbers and descriptions of valuables is also helpful, he added.

Through the relationship with UAPD, residents can feel safer and more secure within the halls, according to Jim Van Arsdel, assistant vice president of Student Affairs and University Housing.

Van Arsdel also said the residence halls not only act as a safe place for students, but also provide benefits for when it comes to their grade point average.

“Students who live in the halls especially in their freshman year, will get higher grade point averages and will persist in higher rates from their freshman to sophomore years,” Van Arsdel said.

Along with these benefits, some freshmen also appreciate the sense of community within the halls, as well the ability to establish new friendships. Each dorm has a hall council that allows residents to plan social activities to allow for further involvement in their new community.

“At the beginning it was hard to make friends, but once I joined hall council I met a group of kids there and it was easier for me,” Sanchez said. “After a while, it was a pretty good community of friends.”

Van Arsdel also said he would encourage incoming students to take advantage of the opportunities and resources available at the university. “That could start with opportunities at the resident halls,” he said.

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