Success lives here

This past school year, the residence halls at Arizona Western College were a full house.

Reaching their maximum capacity with about 420 residents living on campus during the first semester, Campus Life still had a waiting list. For the most part, students who were on the list ended up with a room since during the first few days of school various cancelations go on mainly due to financial issues.

A large majority of the residents are student athletes, yet there is that small percentage of residents who live on campus just to make their college education easier.

"It has been an awesome experience," said Diana Conchas, a Business major who has been living in the dorms for two years. "Being here in the residence halls has helped me in several ways. Besides the fact of having all the school resources, I have had the opportunity of meeting many people from around the world."

On-campus housing has a lot to offer. Its main goal is to offer a safe environment that will help students to reach academic success, to grow as human beings and to have a great college experience. Most residents are freshman, so it's probably their first time living on their own away from home, and somewhere along the road they may get lost. Campus Life has the services to meet these student's needs.

International microcosm

The halls are a diverse environment where residents vary greatly by race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. AWC dorms are coed; however, residents must live with someone of their same sex. Residents have the option to live in a single-sex or a mixed-sex wing.

"Getting to know people from different places has helped be a more open-minded person and has also helped me develop more my English due to the fact that I'm a second language learner," Conchas said.

Students live in one of the three identical residence halls -- Kino, Deanza or Garces. They all have suites where each room shares a bathroom with the next-door room.

Campus Life knows college itself is already expensive; therefore, they make it easier for students by furnishing the rooms with beds, dressers, desk/ chairs and a refrigerator. They even provide laundry facilities at no extra charge.

Each residence hall has study areas as well as wireless internet access. Students have a recreation area as well, where they can go to relieve the stress of exams. Each dorm room also has free basic cable and local phone service.

College life gets busy, and students are on the go all the time, hardly having any time to eat. Campus Life cares for the health of the students and requires a meal plan for those students who live on-campus. No kitchens are available in the halls, so really there is no other option for residents.

After Conchas's first year living in the halls, she decided to come back because it was easier for her to attend school and work on campus, not to mention that she would save gas money. More than anything, Conchas realized she had everything paid for due to scholarships, so why not invest the money in something that would be to her benefit?

Siblings away from home

Resident Assistants live with the students in the halls to guide them, to promote safety and to help the residents out with any type of questions. The RAs are trained to build community by offering programs and counseling. They are leaders who are there to set an example for the type of behavior expected from residents.

"As RAs, we make programs to keep residents entertained and out of trouble," said Adriana Cortez, a Culinary Arts major who has been an RA for three years. "Sometimes we make Karaoke nights and pool parties, and organize Intramurals and trips to local areas."

Hall Directors also live in the Residence Halls. Demirese Hurst, one of the Hall Directors mentioned that her role is to maintain a safe living and learning environment for all residents on campus.

"When students begin their first semester here, our Residential Life staff plans activities, in order to give the on-campus students a healthy alternative, instead of participating in anything that violates our policies," Hurst said.

Students decide to live in the AWC Residence Halls because they know that it's a smart way to stay on track towards their college goal: Graduation. The dorms are convenient; school services like tutoring, computer lab and library are just feet away from the halls.

Residential Life staff encourages students to stop by at the Campus Life office in the 3C building to learn more about living on campus.

Photo by Zachary Zdon

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