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Feature

Two students walking into Centennial Hall.

The new apartment-style Centennial Hall on the Crookston campus is appropriately named; the campus kicked off its yearlong centennial celebration in June 2005.

It's back to the books

More U students choose campus living

Sept. 5, 2006

The big rush to move about 6,600 University of Minnesota students into their residence halls and apartments began at 8 a.m. last Saturday. An estimated 4,400 freshmen will live on campus. The University estimates that this year's freshman class will include about 5,300 students.

More and more first-year students are choosing to live on campus, says Laurie McLaughlin, director of housing and residential life on the Twin Cities campus.

"Living in residence halls gives students a good opportunity to integrate their classroom and out-of-classroom experiences in a supportive living-learning community," she says. Students can benefit from educational, cultural, recreational and social programs in residential communities, McLaughlin adds.

The number of students choosing on-campus housing has been steadily increasing at the University of Minnesota for the last several years. In 1992, 59 percent of new freshmen lived on campus. This year, more than 80 percent of freshmen are expected to live on campus, says McLaughlin. She attributes the trend to the wealth of opportunities offered to students who live in University housing.

"On-campus residential environments today are more than just a place to eat and sleep," says McLaughlin. "Living on campus gives students opportunities to meet people, become involved in campus life and experience a sense of community on campus. Students who live in University housing feel a strong connection to the broader university community."

On-campus living also has academic benefits. Research shows that living in university housing positively influences a student's grade point average and level of involvement in campus activities, says McLaughlin.

Centennial Hall on the Crookston campus is the latest addition to the U's selection of student housing across the state. The 84-bed facility, which opened its doors to students this fall, reflects the historical architecture of the campus and follows a nationwide trend to apartment-style campus living. The individual apartments have two bedrooms and four beds, a private bath, walk-in closets and a full kitchen, and while the facility will be wireless, each room will have seven network connections.

"What students like even more," said Gary Willhite, University of Minnesota Crookston's director of residential life, "is the fact that these apartments also have dishwashers."