Should students live in the residence halls for 2 years? Yes.

By Parker Happ

Knowledge is power not only while in class, but also when deciding on a major or getting involved in campus activities. Students who invest two years living on campus could become more involved in campus activities and feel an overall belonging to the NIU community. Therefore, this would strengthen the institution as a whole.

Daihee Cho, sophomore accountancy major and RHA President, was involved in eight different activities and maintained a 4.0 while residing in Douglas Hall last year. Cho stated that freshman year provided an avenue to discover and decide what his main interests would be.

“Being an international student coming to NIU, at first, I was scared,” Cho said. “Living at Douglas gave me a chance to talk to a lot of people. My English and communication skills were enhanced and that gave me confidence.”

For Daihee and many other involved NIU students, living in resident halls for two years, especially in the exemplary new facilities pending construction, could foster a doctrine of bettering the university in the long run.

Daihee pointed out that RHA spends tens of thousands of dollars on student programs to enhance their experience of living on campus.

“I want [residents] to come to at least one and see how the events are. We want them to have fun, but they don’t even think about going sometimes,” Cho said.

I have heard it stated on campus and in the dorms before: “Maybe if I was actually staying another year in the res halls, I would care about it.”

College is no place for apathy!

In much the same way you put Jersey Shore or Yeezy posters in your room for the personal touch, look at your university experience the same way; make it what you want it to be. Active participation and shaping of Northern life by students committed to two years in the halls stands to only strengthen the community as a whole.

For Alex Horne, sophomore manufacturing engineering technology major, living in Douglas Hall offered a chance to make new friends and lasting relationships that have carried over to his sophomore year.

“While at Douglas, it was constant interaction with people and that’s what I liked most about the halls,” Horne said.

The possibilities for networking opportunities while living on campus are endless because of the social environment. Now living on Hillcrest, while Alex has stayed connected with friends, staying connected to NIU is a different story.

“I wish I would have attended the Huskie Bash and gone to more activities last year,” Horne said. When asked if now living outside of a residence hall he would more or less likely attend events, Horne replied, “Less, just because I’m far away. Living in the dorms, it’s also easier to find people to go with you and you are closer.”

Mandatory two-year residence will aid in breaking Northern away from the suitcase school mentality and engender an idea of further belonging to the Huskie community. We hear the mission statement and see it on campus all the time, instead of “One-year, Together, PEACE!” how about “Forward, together, forward” in 2015 res halls?