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Freshmen students required to
live 'on campus' next fall
Dec. 16, 2005 -- Beginning this fall 2006, freshmen
students at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro will be required to
live on campus in one of three residence halls.
“The ASU Residence Life program will undergo an operational change,
which will positively impact the freshman class in the fall of 2006 with
the expectation to live on campus. This will have a positive effect on
the students who enroll with better academic success, not only in the
first semester, but during the critical period of their first year,”
said Dr. Rick Stripling, vice chancellor for student affairs.
“Studies indicate that living on campus is an important factor to
successfully finishing the first year of college. Students are more
connected to college life, whether it is with other students or with
faculty members. Living on campus and interacting with peers and faculty
contributes to the student’s academic, intellectual and cognitive
growth. Studies also indicate that students who live on campus have an
advantage over commuter students when it comes to grade performance,”
said Patrick Dixon, director of residence life.
“We want students to finish that first year and more than anything, we
want them to graduate. We just cannot say enough about the importance of
interacting with peers and being connected to college life during the
first year,” Dixon said.
According to a national ACT (American College Testing) survey, retention
trends for 2005 are very poor and are the lowest they’ve been since
1983. The retention trend for freshmen to sophomore in a public
four-year university is 66.4 percent. The actual completion of a
bachelor’s degree in five years or less in a public four-year university
is 39.5 percent.
In addition, the Association of College and University Housing Officers
International (ACUHO-I) has documented studies about residence life
programs and what is known as the “First Year Experience” among higher
education circles, Dixon said.
To help students during the crucial first year, ASU has developed a new
program titled the “First Year Residential Experience” or FYRE. FYRE,
which includes the new requirement to live on campus, will also include
two classes: the “First Year Experience” and a “General Education”
“Both of these classes will encourage natural study groups as well as
how to excel in academic work outside of the classroom. In FYRE, there
are also planned activities, including interaction with ASU faculty and
staff -- all in an effort to make the first year a successful one for
every single student who enters ASU,” said Dr. Lynita Cooksey, associate
vice chancellor for academic affairs.
Three buildings will be dedicated to accommodate the requirement for
freshmen to live on campus. University Hall will be for freshmen, women
only. Arkansas Hall will be freshmen, men only. Kays Hall will be a
A new residence hall will open August 2006 in a suite-style arrangement
of 840 beds. Each suite will feature private baths, living and
kitchenette. Private bedrooms will feature phone, cable TV and internet
Students who have 60 credit hours or above, may apply to live in
Collegiate Park, an exclusive student apartment complex for juniors and
Freshmen students who are selected to the Honors Program will reside in
building three of the new residence hall.
The requirement for freshmen to live on campus is not new to the region.
The University of Tulsa, the University of Central Arkansas and the
University of Arkansas at Fayetteville all have varying forms of the
requirement, as do many other institutions.
“Adjusting to life on their own is a daunting task for many college
freshmen with tests, study skills and expectations. Then, when you add
all the environmental barriers such as ‘being away from home,’ the
‘small fish in a big pond,’ and the overwhelming need to succeed
socially and academically, it is difficult. Our goal with this program
is to balance all those pressures and help students succeed,” said
This fall 2005, there were 1,584 freshmen students enrolled, with 730
living on campus.
Anticipating that some freshmen will choose to live at home, exceptions
will be granted, but only to those students who live with their parents
or guardians, are married and living with their spouse, are Veterans
with at least two years of service, are 21 years of age or older or have
a medical hardship. Students will be required to apply for an exemption
and must provide documentation to support their claim.
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