Every student that has lived in one of the residence halls on campus would describe it as being an “educational experience.” Residence life began a new program this year that hopes to put students with similar interests together to create a non-academic learning environment. According to the residence life website, this theme housing option “[allows] students with common interests and pursuits to live together and support each other through planned activities and informal interactions.”
Students living in themed communities is connected to campus from the start. The Resident Assistant for each of these communities works with the hall director and residence life coordinator to obtain a faculty friend and partner with on and off-campus organizations. These communities have opportunities with local businesses and non-profits in the Golden and Denver area. The options for theme housing are: “Adventures in Leadership,” “Service and Social Justice,” “Visual and Performing Arts,” and “Women in Engineering.”
Brian Zook is the resident assistant for the “Adventures in Leadership” community. When describing his floor, Zook said, “Everyone can connect and relate to each other, but at the same time they are all different in their experiences and what they bring to the floor.” Zook described how each resident has different technical knowledge of outdoor recreation activities. Prior to the start of school, the “Adventures in Leadership” community teamed up with the ORC on the Wilderness Instruction Leadership Development Program (WILD). The WILD program provides a day of fun and team-building exercises. Residents in this community get a Gear Pass from the ORC to assist in renting gear for trips during the year.
Aaron Gunzner is the resident assistant of the “Service and Social Justice” community, in which residents of different backgrounds try to find a common ground in giving back to the community. When asked about his position on the floor, Gunzner said, “I love community service, anyway, shape, or form community service pops up.” Gunzner hopes that his excitement will get his residents motivated to volunteer. Gunzner hopes to provide several on-campus opportunities as well as off campus. Thus far, Gunzner has been talking with the Denver Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, and Foothills Animal Shelter to schedule times in which he and his residents can volunteer. Gunzner’s focus for the year is “to involve as many residents as possible.”
Since the opening of Maple Hall in 2011, Residence Life has started several initiatives to ensure that residents have a more enjoyable experience.