This initiative is not a housing or bricks and mortar plan. Rather, the focus is re-connecting the residential and larger campus experiences and thereby transforming the intellectual climate of the campus
Students’ residential experiences cannot exist in a silo at the fringe of the campus experience, isolated from the university mission, academics or the overall development of students. Therefore the plan is built on the following interwoven structures:
- Pathway: a predictable four-year pathway through the residential experience, that groups students by, and focuses on, specific class year development and needs and serves 75 percent of students.
- Neighborhoods: intellectual neighborhoods that orient and ground students intellectually and socially, including groups of residential “houses”, affiliated faculty and staff, peer mentors, classrooms, common social and academic spaces, dining, services, and unifying traditions. Supporting these neighborhoods will require building new social and academic common spaces and destinations that also support the increasing campus diversity and reduce density in current residential facilities.
- Bridges: intentionally linking the residential experience with faculty through courses taught in residential neighborhoods, faculty-in-residence within first-year and sophomore housing, faculty affiliates leading discussions/programs with neighborhoods and floors, partnerships with academic units and targeted support services (including the Isabella Canon International Center, Academic Advising, Career Services, and others), and layered mentoring connecting residential students to upper division student mentors (TAs, tutors, mentors).
- Integration: The residential campus must be integrated both physically and programmatically. Neighborhoods must be connected visually, as opposed to alienated at the fringe of campus. Outdoor spaces should be greened, parking lots should be moved, and outdoor gathering spaces should be added to build community. Additionally, the program must support, complement and align with existing academic programs and a commitment by the entire Elon community will be required.