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‘How is Village life?’ Residents and RAs weigh in

Submitted by Bianca McCrary on September 24, 2014 – 11:24 pmNo Comment

Students can enjoy the pool at University Village during the warm months. Photo courtesy of UALR Flickr

What is life really like at the Village?

International student Jean-Lambert Kubwimana was happy to share his opinion. Kubwimana is a senior physics and engineering major.

“There is much privacy and it is very quiet. It is a safe place to live,” he said. Kubwimana mostly attributes this to the fact that he and his neighbors have built up a strong rapport, which alleviates misunderstandings and ensures respect. “The Village is better than any other hall because it teaches you how to take care of your things and be responsible,” Kubwimana said.

Doniece Allen, junior human resources major, does not share Kubwimana’s sentiment.  Her biggest complaints are housing staff and maintenance.

“I feel that maintenance should have a notice indicating that they have been there and what they have worked on. These are all the routines that are regularly practiced and I would expect UALR Housing to be the equivalent,” Allen said. She is not fond of the meal plan requirement that all UALR residents must comply with.

Allen said, “Seeing that we have a fully furnished kitchen, it would make no sense to purchase a meal plan.”

She also finds the safety to be lackluster. She feels there is an insufficient amount of parking spaces, forcing the students to park farther, which could lead to dangerous events.

Village Resident Assistant Roko Miocic said he has had a pleasant stay thus far.  Miocic is a fourth-year student and computer science major.

“I have had nothing but positive experiences as a resident or an RA,” Miocic said. He said he feels the communication between the housing staff and residents helps in maintaining a constant dialogue that produces understanding and exchange of vital information.

The Village is offered to sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students, international students, and athletes.  There are two floor plans available for students: four bedrooms and two bedrooms. With each plan, students will have their own bedrooms and bathrooms and share the living room and kitchen space.

Executive Director of Housing Debbie Gentry, oversees all of the housing facilities on campus. She has worked in housing for 30 years but specifically with UALR for 23 years. She said there is a long roster of housing employment.

Gentry, who also serves as associate dean of students said, “We employ student workers, maintenance, custodial, RAs and office staff, as well as information technology staff.”

The associate dean said the Village was built in 2006 as Coleman Place apartments. The university bought Coleman Place in 2012 for $14.7 million and renamed it “University Village.” Gentry said the bedrooms and bathrooms are smaller than other housing options, but that is because each student is offered their own bedroom and bathroom.

Gentry believes the future of resident halls is fine and intact. “People still want the campus experience and interaction,” she said.

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