Transformation - 2008 President's Report

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The Urgency of Now - 2008 President's Report

Modern Housing and Dynamic Programs Energize Campus

students in KC residence hall; students at concert; students traverse a bustling walkway

State-of-the-art residence halls, must-see concerts and popular traditions create a vibrant atmosphere for students.

With almost 4,300 Mavericks living on campus, UT Arlington has become a first-choice university for students seeking a traditional college experience.

UT Arlington's reputation as a commuter campus has gone the way of 50-cents-a-gallon gasoline.

Where once most students drove to class and then drove home, now almost 20 percent live on campus, many in the University's pristine new residence halls and apartment complexes.

The transformation from drive-in to live-in is by design, says John Hall, vice president for administration and campus operations. And it started in the late 1990s when much of the feedback from parents and prospective students during recruitment efforts included requests for more traditional housing options.

But with the many amenities that students desire today, Hall said, such as private bedrooms and Internet connectivity.

To meet that need, the 600-bed Arlington Hall opened on the campus' east side in 2000. It was UT Arlington's first new residence hall in more than 30 years and the first to require its occupants to have a meal plan.

Following that, Arbor Oaks Apartments opened in 2001, the first University-owned apartment community constructed in almost 20 years. Three more communities—Timber Brook and Meadow Run I and II—have followed since 2003.

Another 400-bed residence hall, Kalpana Chawla Hall, welcomed residents in 2004. It's the first to employ living-learning communities, which essentially means that roommates are placed together—not randomly—but because they share a common major or academic interest.

Of course, the blitz of on-campus residents needs more than just places to study and sleep. UT Arlington's library is now open 'round-the-clock, new campus eateries abound, and the Division of Student Affairs has scheduled more events for nights and weekends. As junior Dwight Gentry puts it, There's never a dull moment.

Perhaps, Hall says, the best is yet to come.

Going forward, we see the need to redevelop the campus edge with mixed-used developments, retail, restaurants and residential units to further enhance this residential core, he said. This will create a stronger sense of place, as outlined in the University's Campus Master Plan.