University of Arkansas at Little Rock

On-campus Living Shapes Experience

Ricky Harris

Residence hall or not? Recent grad Rick Harris makes a pretty compelling argument for living on campus, saying it’s worth every penny. Bonus: UALR snow photo!

UALR grad Rick Harris shared with us why he thinks living on campus is the best decision a college student can make.

Of the more than 13,000 students who attend UALR, only a small portion (about 1,000) live on campus. When I first decided to come to school in Little Rock, my intention was to get an off-campus apartment and commute. Luckily, something about on-campus housing struck me as interesting, so I moved into East Hall for my freshman year. Looking back, it was, with no doubt, the best decision I could have made.

Being on campus allowed me to be able to walk out of my room and always have someone around to interact with. That’s something lacking from living off campus. Turns out, it’s actually just one of many things missing from living off campus.

Rick Harris standing in snow on UALR campusDuring my freshman year, I got involved not only in an academic setting, but also in social and community service activities. I became involved in the hall government within Housing and by the end of the year I was hired to be a Resident Assistant starting my sophomore year.

My years living on campus changed me.

Living on campus introduces students to many activities that someone who lives off campus has difficulty experiencing. I often tell people that without living on campus, I would have likely attended class (maybe), worked, and slept. That’s not much of a college experience, if you ask me.

Of course, living on campus is another chunk of money. That’s no secret. But rather than seeing it as another expensive bill, I like to think of it as an investment in your future. The relationships, connections, and memories are priceless. With all of the amenities available to on campus residents, it’s worth every penny. Anything you need is within walking distance.

Plus, on-campus housing at UALR continues to grow and prosper. UALR features some of the nicest housing facilities not only in Arkansas, but also in the nation. I say that with confidence because I’ve visited some of the “big-named” universities over the years.

UALR housing residents are spoiled, and that’s just fine. If you don’t believe me, see for yourself. Most UALR students, faculty, and staff never make the trek “up the hill” to the housing complex. All of the facilities are top-notch and the new Trojan Grill is like the icing on the cake. Plus, how many universities have a school-colored street with the school logo in the middle of it?!

Rick Harris graduated from UALR in 2012 with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science. He served as a Resident Assistant and University Commons Manager within the Office of Student Housing. He also served as a staff writer and later as News Editor for The Forum, UALR’s student newspaper.


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