Shippensburg University designated Seavers and Naugle halls as first-year student residence halls only in 2018.
In fall 2018, 1,793 first-year students enrolled at Shippensburg University. First-year students who do not commute to campus are required to live on campus. In the past, students would be assigned to any of the six residence halls on campus. Now, they have the choice to live in Seavers Hall, Naugle Hall or one of the Living Learning Communities in the remaining four halls.
SU senior Thomas Fisher is a resident assistant in Seavers Hall. Fisher works to establish a community among his residents and make sure they are welcomed and presented with opportunities on campus.
“These past few weeks we’ve worked really hard to make sure that these students have had a successful transition to life here at Shippensburg as they adjust to their classes, new environment and all the new people around them,” Fisher said.
The main difference Fisher has noticed between living in a residence hall in the past with students from different academic years to living in a first-year residence hall is the amount of excitement from students. The students are going through a new experience together and are excited to know what Shippensburg is about. They all have the same opportunity to get involved on campus.
“I think that’s something that you can only get when you have a building full of people that are all going through the same shared experience at the same time,” Fisher said. “There’s no outside influences to sway them to not get involved. They have the opportunity to make their own choices and not have to sort through opinions of upperclassmen.”
Each week, resident assistants in Seavers and Naugle halls do academic follow-ups. When one of their residents miss class, the resident assistant will receive a notification and check in with the student to make sure there are no issues preventing the student from going to class. If there is an issue, the resident assistant will provide the student with the resources
himhe or hershe needs. Resident assistants are also focusing on one-on-one interactions with their residents this year to establish an open relationship with them, according to Fisher.
Elizabeth Helsel is a first-year student and resident in Seavers Hall. Helsel lives close to Shippensburg, and Helsel’s aunt lives in Shippensburg, so it would have been easy for her to commute to SU. She chose to live on campus because she heard that it is easier to meet more students and get more involved on campus when
theystudents do not commute.
“I’m very much a people person, so I thought I’d stay on campus,” she said.
Helsel is a desk assistant in Naugle Hall, and she is also vice president of Seavers Hall’s hall council. She also aspires to be a resident assistance in the future because of the positive influence from resident assistants in Seavers Hall.
She said the best part of living in the first-year residence halls is the opportunity to meet people.
“A lot of people think that it’s secluding freshmen, but I would suggest keeping it the way it is. It was a much easier transition.”