Residence Life Taking Student Feedback for Changes and Future Improvements

Another year of residential advisor surveys have come and gone at Hood College. On the surface, the only difference was the addition of housing questions.

However, Matt Troutman, the director of Residence Life and Student Conduct, has high hopes that the Nov. 2015 surveys will pave the way for better student-R.A. relations and an overall better dorming experience.

Troutman, who took the position in June 2015, is working with new and returning employees at Residence Life to create solutions to problems around campus and address suggestions about campus life.

According to Troutman, 83 percent of residential students took the R.A. surveys. Once the answers have been compiled, he intends to use them to promote more diverse events among R.A.s and area coordinators.

“I would like to see the programming change,” he said. “I want to see the R.A.s not reinventing the wheel.”

Two more issues Residence Life will discuss are co-ed dorms and transgender housing.

Using examples from colleges who allow men and women to live in the same rooms and ones that give more options for transgender individuals, Troutman and other employees will weigh the benefits and drawbacks and debate how well they would work at Hood.

Finally, Troutman said that housing exclusively available for first-year students is being considered by several departments at Hood, including his own. Plans for adding first-year dorms include tearing down older, lesser-used buildings to create new dorms, as well as repurposing existing buildings.

“Many schools have buildings that are devoted to housing first-year students,” he said. “The benefit of doing that is that you can target specific initiatives to ensure that those students are successful.”

No specific dates have been given for the implementation of these improvements and ideas. Regardless, Residence Life and their related departments will continue listening to student feedback and planning their changes accordingly.