Face-Off: Themed housing: It’s too limiting

headshot_WEBWhen you go to college, it is an opportunity not only to further your education, but to expand your horizons as well.

If you aren’t trying new things on a regular basis, you’re doing college wrong. If you aren’t hanging around people you never thought you’d associate yourself with, you’re doing college wrong.

By day, college students should be studying hard and participating in the classroom; by night, they should be doing slightly reckless things with all walks of life, while The Chainsmokers blasts in their ears on repeat.

At some universities, including Rider, students are offered the option of participating in a living/learning community. Basically, the purpose of these communities is to bring together like-minded students with similar passions, interests and goals.

At Rider, there are living/learning communities for community service, international students and wellness, as well as an all-women’s residence.

I personally feel that living/learning communities are really not necessary. They limit the horizons that college students can reach for; therefore, they take away from the overall college experience.

As a journalism major, I am required to take a set of classes mandated by the communication department. Generally, I see the same group of faces in all of these classes.

College is already the first time in your academic career where you are isolated based on your interests and goals. If you are a philosophy major, you will be taking philosophy classes with other students who are passionate about philosophy.

In addition, most living/learning communities require a pretty significant commitment from students. This means attending scheduled sessions and meeting shared deadlines for completing assignments. On a smaller campus like Rider, most students are already pretty involved with extracurriculars; so adding another item to an already tight schedule can make the college experience that much more stressful.

Now, instead of just shooting down the idea, let me offer some solutions to this. The point I am trying to make here is that college is all about diversity.

Instead of combining students with like interests, we should combine students with unlike interests. Learning from the experiences of other people is better than anything you’ll learn in a classroom.

One of the best decisions I’ve made at Rider was to join a fraternity. You might have cringed when you read that because of whatever preconceived notion you have of fraternities, but it has opened my eyes to so many new things. I am the only journalism major in my fraternity, and I interact with biology majors, business majors, even foreign language majors.

As you go through college, the best thing to do is to get involved. Whether it’s an intramural sport or any organization, you’ll get a lot more out of that than any living/learning community.

—Brandon Scalea

Sophomore journalism major


Printed in the 3/30/16 issue.

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