Themed Housing at Marywood

By Kimberly Mallas
Staff Writer

Marywood Housing and Residence Life has continued its steadfast mission to improve the campus community through extensive renovation projects over the past few years and there is more in store through deliberate methods of encouraging social connectivity.

This upcoming fall, it is the latter that will be gaining attention, ResLife is testing the waters with a new and progressive idea for themed community housing on campus aimed toward like-minded individuals.

For the first time, during room selection, students will be given the opportunity to apply for residency in a co-ed wellness community located either on a specific wing, floor, or house on campus, depending upon the response from interested students. Those selected, based on credits and GPA, will agree to engage in healthy behaviors such as abstaining from alcohol and tobacco, addressing both spiritual and mental wellness, as well as partaking in programs and service projects related to this theme.

Subscribing to a healthy lifestyle will be expected to extend off campus as well for those who choose to become a part of the wellness community. This will ensure that each student involved is fully dedicated to the principles that are vital to the success of this type of community.

Wellness was elected for the pilot year of themed housing based on an overwhelming response from residents who chose this option on a survey given at the beginning of the fall semester. For those who don’t see themselves fitting into this mold, however, if all goes well during the initial test of the wellness program, there will be opportunities for other themes in the following years.

Students will be able to write up proposals for housing intentionally geared toward athletics, clubs, and other common interests aligned with the mission statement and core values of Marywood University such as social justice or global awareness.

The communities will be required to demonstrate how their existence can better the whole residential community through programming and awareness. Students may even request specific locations for their anticipated community.

For many, the integration of themed communities will lead to an environment more conducive to a positive campus experience based on shared goals, tailored programming, and mutual support.

Additionally, when grouped with those who have a similar agenda, students may find themselves better able to balance the social and academic aspects of their college years, leading to an improvement in test scores. By embracing this inspired concept, ResLife has truly empowered this university’s students to make the most of their time and investments.