By Alex Zdatny
This fall, the first year student experience will change as Poyda Hall joins Conover Hall as an all freshman residence.
Poyda will be experiencing many changes next year, according to Cindy Threatt, associate dean for residential programs.
“When we had groups of freshmen in an upperclassmen building, those freshmen really struggled,” Threatt said.
Freshmen found it difficult to make connections in these cases, and the primary goal was to avoid this by creating more freshman centers, Threatt said.
Amy LoSacco, the current residence director of Poyda, agrees that placing freshmen together would be beneficial for their first year of college.
“I personally believe that first-year students should be with other first-year students, just because it helps them,” she said.
Next year, Poyda will feature two learning communities that will bring in more of a focus to work with the students, according to Threatt.
“Poyda will be able to have the [Bonner] community service program and we are also gaining a psychology learning community,” LoSacco said. “We’re looking to bring faculty members into Poyda and looking to have members from psychology and community services to do office hours.”
The building offers a multitude of benefits, including the fact that the fourth floor is already all freshmen, Threatt said.
Poyda has other attributes that allow students to socialize more easily.
“We have good space for events outside,” LoSacco said. “We have two huge lounges. There are a lot of benefits that Conover is not able to have just because of the placement.”
In addition to the building’s amenities, it also provides convenience.
“First-year students will enjoy living in Poyda because it has its own parking lot out back which is convenient for those who are bringing their cars to campus,” Poyda resident and freshman accounting major Megan Scott said.
Students who are looking into Greek Life will not have to walk far since Poyda is so close to the fraternities and sororities, said freshman radio and television major, and Poyda resident Sammie Dinon.
Poyda’s proximity to Greek Life may “open the door to an organization that they might be interested in joining,” LoSacco said.
Incoming students who need advice on how to adjust to college life will be able to receive it from more experienced students.
“We might have some upperclass peer mentors coming in who will mentor the first year students—not RAs but a different leadership position,” LoSacco said.
While many complain about Poyda’s location, it allows for plenty of room for recreational activities including a volleyball court and prime relaxing locations that will be open to all students.
The response from students about the adjustment has been mostly positive, according to Threatt.
“We shopped it around with students and honestly got a lot of positive feedback,” she said. “Poyda seemed like a really good location.”
Since Poyda is close to the academic buildings, mainly Fine Arts, it provides lots of access to educational facilities for students in the Liberal Arts programs.
Some residents who will be future sophomores and upperclassmen will greatly miss Poyda, both for its location and its convenience.
“I’m going to miss Poyda because this is where I started and I may not be able to live here ever again,” freshman elementary education and English major Alyssa DiFlora said.
Poyda will create a good opportunity to meet other freshmen and will offer more of a collaboration between buildings, Threatt said.
“We absolutely will see Poyda be more successful, not only because of student satisfaction but student retention,” Threatt said.
Printed in the 5/3/13 edition.