Carolynne – STARS (Part 5)

Carolynne 5Fellow Readers,

Something that is really close to my heart is UCA. I have grown so much through the experiences and people I have met. One thing in particular that has really impacted me is the Residential College. I have lived in the Residential College for two years. I was not originally placed here (Short/Denney) last year but I got moved here after a crazy situation in the middle of the first semester. After making it through the rest of the year in Short/Denney I applied to be an advocate here, which I soon found out that I got accepted and would be here the following year (this year). If I would have stayed where I was I probably would have never experienced the Residential College life.

Then this year, I kind of spoke out expectations that I wanted to see happen and gave myself a goal. I have learned so much through this year from the people I have met all the way to the situations I have been in. Living in this community has really challenged me, strengthened me and gave me joy. I wouldn’t have traded any of my experiences for anything.

I have really grown so much through living in the Residential College its unreal almost. I have met so many different people and my mind has branched out so much. I always knew college would cause me to branch out but this year in particular I have branched out beyond measures. Living here has helped me find myself. I never really questioned who I was but this year really put a lot of different things in to place for me.

I will forever be thankful for the opportunity I have had to live here. I wouldn’t trade these past two years for anything in the world. It has put relationships to the test, priorities to the challenge and life questions to be answered and other questions to be raised.

This has by far been one of the best experiences of my life and had a huge and phenomenal impact on my life!

Chloe – Hughes (Part 5)

Hughes Residential College LogoAs I have said in other posts, Hughes Residential College has definitely made a difference in my freshman year here at UCA. If you are a student who feels prepared for college or a student who is timid about the whole thing, the staff of the residential colleges will do their best to help you.

Students come together to help each other because we are all in the same boat. We are all trying to balance a new lifestyle that we are unaccustomed to and learn how to manage time and different activities. Throughout this entire year, I have made new friends who have supported me through everything I have done this year. I wouldn’t change a thing about the path my freshman year has started me on.

Freshman year is meant to be a year where you find who you are, discover people who have the same interests as you, and enjoy being who you are in this moment. There will be moments when all you want to do is go home. These moments happen to everyone. Always remember that you are never alone.

The residential colleges are resources available to help you. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night. There will be someone who is willing to help you weather the downs and celebrate the ups with you. This is what college is about; being a part of something bigger than yourself and discovering what you live for.

At Hughes, we focus on leadership and community service projects. Trust me, there is never a dull moment in the Hughes lobby. We are just now beginning to establish the Hughes Leadership Institute and each advocate was required this semester to plan a service project and put it into action. During all of these programs and service projects, there are many opportunities to make friendships and become part of the Conway community.

If I had never had the opportunity to be in a Residential College I would not be as successful as I have become today. The staff and other students definitely made me feel as though I belonged here. Hughes Residential College has put my education front and center. I have been taught that I can do anything and I whole-heartedly believe that I can.

We can do anything with the help of people who want to see us succeed. Hughes Residential College has done just that for me. They will continue to do so for other students to come. Hughes is home!!! Come to UCA and you can be a part of something bigger than yourself. Go Bears!!

Chandler – STARS (Part 5)

chandler 2Short and Denney is a place to be artistic, to make friends, to hang out, to really experience life in a way that you haven’t before. Over the course of the posts, I have bragged about our classroom, the networking, and probably more than I care to admit. When it comes down to it… why should you really live here? It’s no skin off my back whether or not you decide to take a chance on a stranger’s advice.You should move here because if you don’t, others will.

It’s the sad truth of life. If you pass up on a great opportunity, someone will be there to catch where you went wrong. I’m also not claiming that STARS is the best residential college for you, although it is the best. If Hughes is a better fit, go for it, if you belong in EDGE, don’t hesitate. But be willing to join the community you think will be most likely to grow you and to make you a better version of yourself.

If we are being completely honest, I did not have friends the first semester of my freshman year, or at least not consistent friends. I was friends with a lot of upperclassmen who already had their own groups, circles, and lives, and so when I tried to join in a lot of times, I just felt left out. I struggled with anxiety and depression until kind of making friends with some people from Short and Denney on accident at a neighborhood work project day. Going to that one event on that one day got me one friend that turned into twelve by the end of the week, and have been there for me ever since. I’m a cheese ball, we all know that by now, but let college mean something to you instead of being just something that you tried one time. My friends from freshman year still mean the world to me. (Go check out Michael’s Hughes post, he’ll vouch for me!)
If you need to crack down academically, decide to do it and we can help you. Need friends? There are two hundred people to choose from that are stuck in the same building as you. Need plans this weekend? So do three other people in your hall. This is a community because we made it a community. I am an Advocate which basically means I’m a live-in tutor and an upperclassman that knows how to help all the freshmen survive their first year with few or no regrets. I and the other four advocates sacrificed hours and hours of our time at the beginning of the year to just be available in the lobby or the classroom or to go to dinner just to make the freshman here believe that this building is a community before it is anything else. We spent unpaid hours striking up conversations with freshmen and getting them comfortable enough to come to us or even just to hang out in the lobby. It is a community because we work really hard to make it that way for you.

I wouldn’t push this hard on something I didn’t believe in. (If nothing else, do what I did in the first place and register for STARS because you want suite-style bathrooms instead of dealing with community showers.) To each her own, right?


 One of the many perks of having friends down the hall and in your classes is late night trips to the park for a study break!

One of the many perks of having friends down the hall and in your classes is late night trips to the park for a study break!

Michael – Hughes (Part 5)

Michael 1

It’s the Res. College Life for ME!

Hey guys, this is my last post!  So in this post I want to sum up what living in Residential Colleges has done for me here at UCA.  From the picture above you can see that it made way for a lot of friends. From day one I was able to find people with similar interests as me. These people weren’t just my suite mates or roommate, but these people were from all over the building at first.

By the end of the year I was bouncing all over campus going to see different friends, there was not a residence hall that I had not visited by the end of the year. For most freshmen they are lucky to visit one or two residence halls other than their own. For me one of the most important of establishing myself at UCA was being involved from the very start.

Michael 3For me, I walked into UCA with a music scholarship that I had auditioned for earlier in the spring. One of the requirements for this scholarship was being a member of the BMB (Bears Marching Band), there I pretty much made 200ish instant friends. We all suffered through the heat, the long hours of rehearsal, and waited for the much desired water break.

Though I was involved in band, band did not stop me from trying to get involved even more. I would apply and almost receive a spot in UCA’s IDEAL program, which feeds into SGA positions and other leadership positions throughout UCA. From there I would also get my feet wet with what was going on in TSD (The Short Denney). I would go on the field trip to Memphis and that is what hooked me on becoming a Mentor (mentors are called Advocates now) the following year.


My sophomore year would roll around very fast; August crept up faster than it had ever before. The next thing I knew I was juggling mentor training and marching rehearsals. This would be an interesting year though. I would realize that the tight knit family group that I had formed the year before had moved to Bearidon, while I was still in TSD and one of my other friends would take up an internship.

Michael 2

Here is my friend Chandler (the one that I’m holding) and my friend Corey in the background. My friend Chandler is actually doing this blog too.  We missed our friend so we went and visited her. This year would be different for me though. I would be on the planning side of the Memphis trip this year while also taking one of the most challenging class loads that I have taken to date. Fortunately I had people to lean on when I needed them. Whether it was fellow mentors for help on my homework or friends to distress I had the people that I needed to help me out.




Michael 4This picture is from one of our spring activities, pie your RA and RC. Pictured are Daniel and me putting a pie in my RA Logan’s face. It was fun activities like this that kept the semester moving along.

For me to say residential college life helped me make it through the first two years would be an understatement.

I was in an environment that gave me the confidence that I could succeed, whether it was the friends and connections that I made, the encouraging faculty, or the building staff; there is just something about living in a residential college that is like no other.

I now work for Housing and Living/Learning Communities here at UCA as a Learning Assistant. In this position I work along side with about nine other LAs, we are scattered through out different residential colleges and residence halls.



When we get together we can discuss what is going on in each others building and for me it kept coming back to, the res colleges had better more involved communities than the other residence halls. There is something about living together and having classes together that allows for greater relationships to develop. Some of those relationships will develop traditions too. A tradition that I just followed through with this spring was getting my butt sketched. We have Spring Fling every year at UCA, one of the attractions is Butt Sketches.  This is the butt sketch from my sophomore year, but I have one from my freshman, sophomore and junior year. Each year I have had a different group of my friends, but we all commit to getting someone there to do it.


Michael 5


The one last thing I want to say is a little bit of advice. First of all WRITE THE ESSAY TO GET INTO A RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE. Next get up and go to class, school is no longer free, you are paying for it (if you aren’t someone is).


Michael 6Make sure to always prioritize your studies, if there is a party, get your work done then go! Start saving now, because there will be “necessary” IHOP runs (pictured are my friends Heather and Corey and me taking the picture of course. This was one of our many IHOP runs). Always remember to try your hardest, but have fun along the way. College literally is the best time of your life. It is a time to grow, change, mature, get it together and prove yourself. It is a time of self-reflection and self-dependence. Some of you will leave mom and dad hours away, states away or even continents away, don’t forget to call them they will miss you and you will eventually miss them too. Do not ever be afraid to get involved in a campus ministry! There are several here and they cover wide ranges of believers so don’t be afraid to look for one that fits you.


So, guys this is it! I have had a great time talking to all of my awesome readers. I hope that I get to see you here at UCA this fall or maybe next spring.


Peace Out MP is OUT!

Daniel – STARS (Part 5)

Dan2Daniel. Marketing major. Freshman. STARS Residential College.

Among the greatest shocks in my college experience came at the start of my second semester. My friends and I had finally moved back into the STARS after a long break and I was eager and ready to start my new classes and see the faces I had missed the last few weeks. It took several days before I realized that there were missing faces. Casual acquaintances, floor mates…some were gone. I was startled when the realization fully settled. In high school everyone comes back after a break. But in college, sometimes, people don’t come back. These are people I will probably never see again.

No one is guaranteed success in college. Every student needs to be prepared to put effort into their studies. I knew people who slept through all their classes or never made time for class work but I don’t see them anymore. They didn’t make it through their first year. Sometimes I think of these lost friends and sometimes I miss them but I never understand them. UCA gave each one the potential to do extremely well.

Study areas. Advising centers. An extensive library and database. Easy access to tutoring. Professors who are available to meet with students individually. Residential Colleges. UCA gives us so much!

Residential Colleges are an invaluable asset to a freshman. I was fortunate to be in the STARS. I needed the help I could get, the help my Residential College offered me. If I had not utilized every benefit, every tool, every advantage UCA gave me I might have ended up as one of those people who don’t come back. This is my final semester in a Residential College but because of the STARS I am prepared to live without the STARS. Because of the STARS I have a bright future with UCA.

Daniel 3


Chelsey – STARS (Part 5)



This school year at the University of Central Arkansas has been an experience that will always stay with me. Coming from an extremely small town that lies three hours south of Conway, I started out this year not knowing anyone. It was terrifying, but I had dreamed of coming to UCA since I was very young— so there was no stopping me.

UCA ended up being exactly how I had always imagined it would be and more. My roommate the first semester became my closest friend. And, even though she would end up moving home to Arizona the next semester, that bond and friendship meant the world to me. We would hang out in the lobby and meet new people (together, so it wasn’t awkward!) and even attend events that the dorm was holding together.

We loved it, the Residential College created this bond between us and everyone else in the building. I ended up attending “group talks,” where everyone talked about their religious beliefs, families, and much more! These connections I made at the beginnning of the semester encouraged me to do well and work harder so that I could stay at the place I loved.

I have loved my classes at UCA—especially my teachers. The work here has been challenging, but enjoyable. I’ve learned so much! And the Residential Colleges have given me the push and tools I need in order to succeed. I love UCA and I have loved the dorms I’ve lived in. If I could start over, I believe I would do it all the same. I’m extremely grateful for my experiences this year and I have loved every second of being at the University of Central Arkansas and living in their Residential Colleges.

Michael – Hughes (Part 4)

Hey guys and gals!  So if you are unaware of what’s going on here in college land. It the week before finals!!! Whoo!! Right??
It’s not Whoo, it’s all gloom and doom. Its all final projects, papers, and tests and I haven’t really even procrastinated on anything.
Meanwhile in high school land….in a far off place…. “Are we done yet? Can it just be summer already?  30 more days of school right?” Yeah we have all been there before.
High school is fun till the end starts dragging and then it’s all down hill the month of May. Well, the good news here at college is that you really don’t even go to school the month of May. For us this year it is finals week and graduation the first week of May and then we are OUT OF HERE!!! The question that may be come to your mind though, how do we survive if we do this two times a year?
Well you have asked a good question, we survive with our friends that we make. I know your like, “friends, what are those?” Right? Well these are the strange assortment of people you meet and start hanging out with at the beginning of the year. They either creep by your room and look in and start talking to you or they stalk you and show up places at your text or call.
These people start to grow on you and before you know most all of your free time is spent with them, these are what we call your “friends.”
Here at UCA we makes this process easy. We stick you in an area that is about half the size of a small theme park and we set you loose. We expect you to find food, we show where your shelter is and your classes maybe ( we will really show you where everything is, but this is fun writing ya know!).
Definitely not a Dismal Ordinary Room of Mine

Definitely not a Dismal Ordinary Room of Mine

More importantly this whole shelter thing. As an incoming freshman you live in a residence hall ( not a dorm, dorm= Dismal Ordinary Room of Mine) some of this residence halls are also home to residential colleges. For instance I live in Hughes Hall home of Hughes Residential College, Hughes Residential College theme is leadership; Short and Denney is home to the STARS Residential college where they are “living the Arts.” All in all there are there are five residential colleges EPIC Residential College  (Entrepreneurship, Public Scholarship, Innovation and Community Engagement) Bear Hall fourth floor, Hughes Residential College (Leadership) Hughes Hall, STARS Residential College (Living the Arts) Short and Denney, EDGE Residential College (liberal arts, global education and civic engagement) State Hall, and STEM Residential College (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Arkansas Hall. Each of these halls you can apply with an essay mentioned on that residential colleges page.

Okay so your shelter. Your shelter is your home, home is where the heart is, heart is family, family means Ohana, and Ohana means family and family means no one gets left behind. SO yeah your friend group becomes your family. They are there for you when you are crying, dying, stressing, not sleeping, studying, succeeding and much more. The friends that I have made from the places that I lived are the people that I am going to keep in touch for the rest of my life. I had heard when I was getting ready to go to college, college is where you will find your best man or maid of honor, your best friends for life or maybe even your wife or husband.Micheal 4
You can have a social life in college- breathe, relax and proceed. I have successfully kept a social life, practiced and kept up with my homework. I have always had time to go and do, as long as I planned and prioritized.
Keep checking back!!
Michael 3

Chandler – STARS (Part 4)

Over the course of my posts, I think I have definitely showed my bias in terms of building friendships and gaining life experiences… and I’m about to do it again.

After walking past the same people in the hallways, sharing the kitchen with the same regulars, and bumping into people in the lobby on a daily basis for about ten months, it’s hard not to pick up some social connections. As I’m typing this, the door to my room is open to the world of STARS and there are the random passersby that have camped out in my room for a hour or two, the people who chat for a bit before moving on, the pairs that sing show tunes at the top of their lungs, and those that pass silently. If you’re looking for a place to study, generally there are occupants in the classroom or in the study lounge that you can join. Need a person to eat with? Hang out in the lobby for five minutes and I can pretty much guarantee someone else is headed that way, too.

The connections you make aren’t even just cool for the purpose of having people to hang out with, this is my networking plug. You’re probably not really worried about networking at this point, but really… the people in STARS all have just as many connections in the world as you do. Your roommate is active in the Young Democrats, the guy down the hall is Student Government, the girl across the hallway works at a daycare down the road. There is an unlimited number of connections just doors down the hall from you. If you need a job, ask around, someone probably knows about an open position and can put in a word. Need to make a short film project for class? The guy you eat breakfast with is really good at working lights. There is an ocean of untapped potential that you have access to just by living here. I’m still really close to my friends from freshman year and probably will be for years down the road, and the only thing we had in common to start with was the building we lived in.

Chandler 3

Photo courtesy of Blake Elermann, also of STARS.

Laney – STEM (Part 4)

Okay, in order to let you fully understand how much Residential Colleges mean to me, we’re going to start out with a bit of background info. Pretty much my biggest fear when going off to college has to do with one thing:

I suck at making friends.

No joke. It’s been like this for as long as I can remember. Perhaps I have an abnormally abrasive personality or I just do things and think about things in a way that most people don’t understand. Or maybe I am just a horrible judge of people. Who knows. The point is that in high school I had what I felt like was the best group of friends. We were inseparable. Those were my longest friendships (and that was only about five years at the most). They were the only people that I really felt like I could trust and count on. And then here comes college and suddenly we are all going in different directions and I’m back where I started before I met them. And now we reach the other problem.

I am incredibly shy when I first meet people.

There is no doubt, I am an introvert. But when you show up at college everyone is telling you that they met their best friends their first week here and that you should talk to as many people as you can and get out there and participate in everything. So…I pretty much resigned myself to defeat. I tagged along with whoever was nearby and tried to feel included and to warm up to people. But let me tell you, when you just settle for hanging out with whoever you happen to be near at the time, it’s not going to end well. And this is where Residential Colleges come in.

Laney3I briefly mentioned in my first blog post that as a Mentor/Advocate I am pretty involved in STEM’s outreach projects. This is true now, but as a freshman I was too shy to be very involved in these activities. However, we had been informed the summer before getting here that as a member of a Residential College we had to participate in at least two outreach activities. So, there I was, already over halfway done
with my first year of college and I still hadn’t participated in even one of them.

And now we finally get to the awesomeness that is Residential Colleges.

Laney 4I ended up going to my first outreach activity, which happened to be a Science Night (where we go to middle schools and show kids cool science activities) with a couple of my lab partners from one of my STEM classes (recall, all members of a Residential College have to be enrolled in classes within the building). So, I finally got involved in the building because I had classes with other members of the Residential College, which, frankly, is one of the best things that has happened to me since I’ve been here. I mean, don’t get me wrong. The academic advantages that Residential Colleges provide are extremely important. But if you aren’t happy because you don’t have a group of friends to support you and to be there to goof off with you when you are about to explode from stress…well then, the academic advantages aren’t going to matter. Because you aren’t going to do well in college if you aren’t happy and you can’t find the right balance between school and relaxing.

Laney 5Getting involved with these outreach activities, that, by the way, are something that you will only find in Residential Colleges, is how I finally made some positive, lasting friendships. I am still friends with the two people that I went to Science Night with that night after lab. I see them at least every once in a while and all three of us still live in the building because we love this place. And I feel like that’s probably mostly due to the fact that we got involved and found other people that are weird just like we are. To me, that’s the beauty of Residential Colleges. You stick a bunch of people with similar tastes together and you are bound to find people with similar personalities that can become really good friends. One of the guys that I went to Science Night with that night is still one of my best friends and he is the reason that I am a part of the group of friends that I hang out with now. I definitely owe that to Residential Colleges, and especially STEM. I believe it is the perfect environment to form a great group of friends.

And the beauty of having a great group of friends is that you can relax and be yourself (which in my case is a pretty weird person) and thus have the best college experience that you can possibly have. Just one more reason why Residential Colleges are fantastic and I would recommend them to everyone.

Laney 6

Brady – STARS (Part 4)

"Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes." -Abraham Lincoln (Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure)

“Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.” -Abraham Lincoln (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure)

Ever since I started college I have always stated that college is all about networking; meeting people and building relationships with them in order to broaden your resources for future endeavors. It’s these connections that you make while in college that will help you have better chance at a more successful future because. When entering college it’s best to form your network early on so that way you can build stronger relationships rather than waiting until your senior year. From my personal experience, being a member of a Residential College has vastly improved my network and I am meeting many new people that are not only my friends but like minded, forward thinking individuals.

I believe that being a part of a Residential College will greatly increase your odds of making successful connections for future relationships. Every Residential College has a theme; they range from the arts, to leadership, to global awareness, and the sciences. The whole ideas behind these themes are to not only to make your college transition a smoother one but to put you in an environment with students that have similar interests as you. By joining these RCs you have a greater opportunity to collaborate with your fellow students and pursue your interests even further.

I think one of the biggest connections I’ve made while living in the STARS is with my good friend Chris. Christ is an aspiring film major but his true passion is in video games and video production. Chris, along with several of his friends, plan on opening a production studio in which they can create video game videos along with skit type videos to publish on YouTube and hopefully turn it into a business.

Like Chris, I too have a deep passion for video games and the video game industry but I am a business major. I would love to someday become famous, whether it be on the internet or as a professional, I do know however that the odds aren’t necessarily in my favor, that’s were Chris comes in. Next semester Chris and I are sharing an apartment together, this will be right around the time he hopes to start his production company. Since I will be living with Chris I’ll have direct access to his ventures and if he so chooses I could become a part of it. We have discussed this before, a system where maybe through endorsements or other means of communication he would help me grow my fan base in internet video game community.

Even if being a popular internet video game player or a professional doesn’t work out, I would still love to have a job in that growing industry and I think that by making this connection with Chris through the Residential College program will help me make that a reality. I think that being a part of a Residential College can really help you benefit in many way that are beyond academics. Starting your freshman year, the networks you form will hopefully last as you enter the job market and begin the rest of your life.

Brandon – STEM (Part 4)

When I first came to college, I had a pretty negative attitude about being social. I had this idea that I was in college to learn, and that was it. I wasn’t there to make friends, play games, party, or have fun; I was there to learn. I wanted to be the best in all of my classes, and the whole “college life” thing seemed like a big competition. I didn’t talk to many people because I either felt like it was a waste of time or because I saw the other person as a threat against me and my goals.

I spent most of my first semester sitting in my room studying for my calculus, chemistry, and biology classes. My only real social activity was playing Ping-Pong for a few hours every day, and even then I didn’t talk to many people. I was usually studying for some class while I was waiting for my turn at the table too. Thinking back, I can’t imagine that I was a very pleasant person to be around.

But my personality changed completely my second semester. This was right after I moved across the hall from Ben and Blaze with my friend Jeff who I also knew from playing Ping-Pong. I enjoyed hanging out with these guys, and they did a good job of calling me out when I wasn’t acting like a decent person. They brought me out of my shell, and helped me to enjoy my life in college way more than I did my first semester. I started participating in Science Nights with Jeff, and began talking to my other fellow residents. I talked to my classmates more and started participating in study groups. I played games regularly with Ben and Blaze and took time to relax and have fun.

That semester, I met more people than I would have ever imagined based on my first semester in college. Moreover, I felt much closer to these people than I had with almost everyone from high school. After that, I became an Advocate within STEM and met even more people which is always pretty neat.

Being a part of residential college makes you part of a community. Participating in the community is really up to you, but if you choose to do so, then you will create social connections that you will carry on with you for the rest of your academic career (and maybe even longer).

STEM at Battle of the Halls

STEM at Battle of the Halls

Hunter – EDGE (Part 4)

EDGEEDGE Residential College has plenty of social activities right inside the building.

We have had gaming nights, Halloween Costume Party, Ping-Pong tournaments, a Super Bowl party, a clue game night and plenty of other activities.

Language Corner is one of the weekly activities in EDGE Residential College. Language Corner is one of the activities that involve people of all ethnicities, cultures and beliefs from all over campus to get talking.

We even have had events in our building to help with the EDGE garden and courtyard. We have had programs on academic success plans, on how to study, how to adjust to college living and how to deal with roommate problems.

We have also had programs during Christmas time to decorate Christmas cards for the elderly in nursing homes. Going to these events have helped me make friends for a life time. I’m a little shy when meeting new people but EDGE has helped me become a social butterfly.

I believe each student in EDGE Residential College has a talent and it needs to be shown and it can be because of these fun activities in our building. I’m so thankful for the programs offered in EDGE Residential College because they have helped me open my eyes to my new way of life that I’m going to be experiencing for at least four years.  EDGE Residential College has a little something for everyone!

Kirsten – EDGE (Part 4)

In a wired world we are able to stay connected to more people than ever before. Unlike all of you, I am not the internet social butterfly. I only have about 100 friends on Facebook and 20 of them are my relatives. I only following 6 people on Twitter and I have only one follower on Twitter (sad I know). BUT I don’t feel like I am behind in the social world. I have connections; they are just in all the right places rather than in every place.

What are all the right places? Well there are a couple main ones, Victoria’s Secret and EDGE. For the purposes of this we will ignore Vicki’s (one of the 6 “people” I follow on twitter) and focus on EDGE.  I am going to be a little boring for awhile, but don’t stop reading – I get to the dramatic soap opera stuff soon enough.

Why is it so great to live in a residential college and why do I claim the connections are important? Because the best way to ace a test is to know what you need to study. Mrs. Jeffcoat our Resident Master and professor came to the classroom to help with my study group really prepare for her test the following day.  Connections with Tanya and other professors like her that work in EDGE are more important than just the grades. When you can establish a relationship with your professors they help you out later on by writing you letters of recommendation, recommending other professors to take and helping you find the right person to get you through the red tape. Res’ Colleges are the best way to form these connections because the classes are small and localized. You aren’t in a lecture hall with 60 people.

The new EDGE Labyrinth outside State Hall

The new EDGE Labyrinth outside State Hall

EDGE has TONS of programs in the lobby. This allows for networking. Networking gets your face and name into the minds of people who might be able to help you get ahead. They bring people from all over campus over to explain things about departments, services and sometimes just cool things like culture talks. It is through these that I was able to get connected with the Feminist Union and I sold vagina pops for charity. I have been informed about how to study abroad.  What I would consider the biggest social connection I have made is the associate dean of the college of liberal arts. I met him by volunteering for the courtyard project and I have really gotten to know him as we spent hours building the EDGE labyrinth together.

NOW onto the interesting more lovey-dovey stuff. Res’ college has given me more than just wonderful networking options. It has given me a family. I have made friends here that I know will last forever. When I came to college I didn’t have friends coming with me and all me and all my relatives lived hours away. But I have yet to be homesick. Because I have made a new home here. While I have numerous friends and acquaintances within the building I want to tell you about those I call my new family.

Chad and I

Chad and I

Sometimes we call ourselves the three musketeers and D’Artagnan. Chad, Nick and I are the musketeers and Hunter is D’Artagnan. This is not because she is lesser, but because she is different than us. If we were in The Big Bang Theory she would be like Penny to our Sheldon, Lenard and Raj.  Chad is the oldest in our little family. He is going to graduate this year, he is an advocate in EDGE (that explains his age difference). Chad helps out with all of our papers and such making sure we do well in our classes as well as introducing us all to new TV shows and music of a generation gone by.  Nick is the very calm one in the group. I may sometimes joke that if he was any more relaxed I would have to water him (house plant joke). He has a way of finding things on the internet that is hypnotic. His eye for art is outstanding. I am just me obviously; you should know me by now (if you have read all my blogs).  Hunter is the girly girl in our group. She likes crafts and bakes. She brings happiness and sunshine into our otherwise “living in the basement of their moms’ house kinda’ people”.

In conclusion (aren’t you glad I am finally shutting up?) EDGE or any res’ college really, is the place to be. It is where you can make connections for the betterment of your life. Professionally and informally. Friends and colleagues. My connections here are much more important than my Facebook friends or my one follower on twitter.

Seneca – EPIC (Part 4)

EPICLiving in a residential college thus far has been a great experience for me.  Coming to college was a new experience for me and like all freshman I didn’t know what to expect. My first semester of my freshman year at UCA I stayed in an apartment, so when I found out about EPIC I had my doubts at first, as I am sure everyone does in general about new ventures.

I didn’t know whether I would fit in. But I decided to take a chance and I don’t regret it for a second. The best college decision I have made is joining EPIC. Through EPIC I have made many positive connections with other EPIC students and we have come together on a few projects with amazing results.

I think Residential College Life is the best life one could have in college. Not only do we work on projects together, we do things outside of EPIC together. We play Xbox 360 and ultimate frisbee. We make connections that go beyond  what any classroom could teach and that could possibly last for many years.

I look forward to more good times for as long as I choose to stay in a Residential college.  That is my experience thus far. But I have a question for you. What have you got to lose? Why not make lasting connections outside of high school and class? You are on one of the best teams at UCA. Residential college life is a blast because of the connections that one makes. It is hard not to get involved when you are in EPIC.

My hope is that you come to college looking to not only make a difference, but have fun doing it. Make a difference in EPIC. Not only will you have memories that last a lifetime, but your time in college will be spent wisely by choosing to be in a residential college because of the higher graduation and retention rate that staying in residential college is known for. While no doubt that is a great reason to be in EPIC, the most important, to me at least is the connections that you will make with other residents.

The people I have met in EPIC are some of the most awesome, hardest working people I have met since being in college and it is an honor to work with them. I know that after living life in a residential college that you will feel the same way as I do and will never want to go back to a normal residential hall again.

Carolynne – STARS (Part 4)

STARSHello my dear viewers!


One of the biggest things aossociated with residential colleges is the social connections. The friendships that have been made throughout the school year have been worthwhile. I have been blown away this year by how well people have come together and made long lasting friendships. This environment has really come together and made a big family.


James Foote, Freshman and Theatre Major says this:

“The social connections in this Residential hall is very well-rounded. The people are friendly, open-minded, and are very involved in the social events.”


Advocates and RA’s came together at the beginning of the school year with the same mindset and goal. We made sure our faces were seen often in the lobby so students will know us and will trust us. We set out on this long adventure and because of that I personally have made a lot of long lasting friendships as well as others in the dorm.

Chelsey – STARS (Part 4)



Life in a Residential College has been the most fun, interesting experience. When I lived in my previous dorm, State Hall, it was very different than the dorm I live in now- Short/Denney.

In State Hall, I had few social connections. I had a randomly chosen roommate, named Sidnie, and we very quickly became best friends. Everyone on my floor tended to keep to themselves- most doors were often kept closed and everyone was respectful to each other, but also did not socialize much. Girls were kept separated from the guys and could not be in the other’s side of the building without someone escorting them. It was almost a little silly: if a boy was leaving my dorm to go back to his, he could not even walk down the hallway, down the stairs, and to the door leading outside without me with him. Honestly, I did not like it. It gave a very childish and tense atmosphere. Needless to say, after my roommate moved back home and I felt a serious need for change, I decided to switch dorms.

I was now starting my life in Short/Denney. I had friends instantly. When I moved in, I kept my door open and random people would just walk in to say hello. Each night after I moved in- at this time I did not have a roommate- I would have large groups of people from my floor in my room just to hang out. Almost everyone on my floor casually kept their doors open as a sign of welcome and, soon, we all became close friends. Short/Denney is also much more relaxed, you have a roommate and suitemates of the same sex (of course), but your next door neighbors had the potential to be male or female. I liked this setting much better—I was happy to finally find the right dorm for me!

I’m positive that social connections are so important for your college experience. When in Residential Colleges, you find connections everywhere! I have loved the Residential College life, with easy access to everything on campus and so many in-dorm benefits. I must say, I am sad to be moving out of the Residential College this year, it is a wonderful experience that I am so happy I had and will be greatly missed.

Chloe – Hughes (Part 4)

Connecting With Others

Hughes Residential College LogoOne of the main purposes for the residential colleges on campus is to allow students to form connection with not only other students but with faculty as well. Every week there are programs that are put on in the residential college classrooms and lobbies that are opportunities to meet new people and form new friendships.

I met some of my very best friends during an event called the Hughes Family Reunion. This event allows students who lived in Hughes in earlier years to come to Hughes Hall and talk with the new students who have just started their journey in Hughes.

It is important to attend programs and events that happen within the residential colleges. You are able to meet new people and learn new things about college and form connections with people who can help you with anything from personal problems to academic issues. Plus the activities are adventurous and you are always guaranteed a laugh or two. Everyone in the residential college is either new to college or have been through some college and have the skills to get you through the rough patch that beginning college can be.

Transitioning is hard, but it is possible to form friendships with those who will help your transition and allow you to succeed where you feel as though you might fail. Students in residential colleges have classes together in the dorms and within the other buildings on campus. It is required that you take a few classes within your residential college so you are exposed to people that live within your hall and to form study groups. This allows for students to have help and a support group when weathering the storm that freshman year can be. Everyone in the residential college is here to help.

So come on down and get ready to have some fun and meet new friends. You belong at UCA and in a Residential College.

Jackson – EPIC (Part 4)


Residential College Life and Making Connections with Other Residents

One of the best parts about living in a Residential College at UCA is that there is almost always a program or activity going on, so when you have finished up your homework and studying for the day, the evening holds some fun without having to go far.  Resident Assistants (RAs) put on programs that are relevant to students and usually provide entertainment and some kind of snack.  These programs range from various cultural awareness events to ways to improve your study habits.  In STEM my freshman year, the RAs hosted a Halo tournament, with the winners receiving a Target gift card!

 I have enjoyed my time in EPIC and STEM because I have made some of my best friends here.  When you live with, do projects with, and study with a group of people consistently, you obviously are going to get to know them pretty well.  Because Residential Colleges allow you to live and work with people who share similar interests, it is so easy to make great friends here!  Even after two years apart from many of my friends from STEM my freshman year, I still keep in touch with them and still call them some of my closest friends.

If you are worried about fitting in or finding your place here, I assure you that your worries will fade the moment you start interacting with your fellow Residential College residents!

Michael – Hughes (Part 3)

Members of the Bear Marching Band (or BMB in campus-speak)

Members of the Bear Marching Band (or BMB in campus-speak)

Hey Guys! What is striped and feared at the same time? The stripes…a.k.a. the football field at Estes stadium. We’ve got to get you up to speed before you get here and make yourself at home here at UCA. Fun facts about the STRIPES real fast; we have the largest mascot on a field, we have the only alternating color field, and it the only field that represents both school colors. So we do I bring this up? Well one, its really cool to march on.

Yes if you haven’t got that figured out I’m also in the Bears Marching Band. We march pre-game, halftime and fifth quarter every home game rain or shine. So the real reason I bring up the field your wondering? It’s because it is different.
Different here like almost everything else in life, it is not a bad thing. Being different is what makes life interesting. These differences are what create diversity in our lives.
Since I have been here at UCA I have never had to look far to find something different from where I grew up. Yes I grew up in the middle of no where, granted my graduating class was 200ish; but the first school that I went to I would have graduated in a class of 20ish. Needless to say different didn’t come up and bite you on the butt that often there and still not to much more at my Alma Mater.
Hughes life

Hughes life

So when I got to UCA I had a fun time at first getting to know the campus and exploring, getting  my room all set up, and other things. What I really started to notice was that I wasn’t always hearing english all the time when I was walking around campus.

What I found out was that UCA host students from all around the world. I have met and made friends from China, South America (various places), Italy, Various countries from Africa and even Bulgaria (for all you Harry Potter friends). Diversity is something that UCA is not short on. Whether it is created by people from all over the US or the world, or even guest speakers and artist. I have grown so much because of this experience and have gained a great amount of appreciation for other cultures by hanging out and making friends with the exchange students.
Diversity is not just present in the obvious either. At UCA I have been exposed to many different schools of thought through the general education requirements that we have. These classes have challenged me to think in new ways and even have challenged my moral values.
College in general is supposed to be about broadening yourself, while here at UCA you have the opportunity to do that any where you walk on this campus. Whether it is meeting with a group of new friends in your lobby, a new roommate/suite mates, faculty and even in the subject matter of your classes. Every where you look there is something different, something changing and being pushed forward.
Being different is a good thing whether the majority wants you to fit their mold or not. Be different! It is far better to live and die being an individual, than it is to live life as a copy. Be an AVID individual here at UCA.
Stay plugged in for my next post.

Carolynne – STARS (Part 3)

STARSHello my fellow readers,

To start off this blog, I would like to give a quote…

“Diversity is a very broad term, and its truth meaning is hard to define. However, we do experience diversity everyday which we may not be aware of such as gender, age, race, culture, and much more. Every individual has their own background and value. All these years, I have learned one valuable thing that would benefit me for a life time. I believe that in order for other individuals to accept our differences, we must first learn to accept theirs.” – Hien Phung

Honestly, Diversity is something that we face every day. Diversity is something that when we see the word we automatically think race and gender but that isnt the whole meaning of the word. Diversity is the multi-formity and variety. In the Residential Colleges we see diversity in so many different ways, from our backgrounds, to our everyday life choices, to our majors and even our race and gender.

Living in the Fine Arts dorm, people automatically assume that everyone is a fine arts major (particularly music and drama) all the way down to the lifestyles we live. There are so many stereotypes for the different dorms but when you look at the people that live in the residential colleges the stereotypes are not all that they are said to be.

In the STARS Residential College we have:

*music majors, theatre majors, art majors, English majors, psychology majors (I am one of those), and even Nursing majors

*whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Chinese students

*straight, gay, bisexual, ect.

Such Diversity may sound like it could be very segregated but honestly it isn’t. Here we look past all of the differences and it has made us one big family. Because in our differences, we find similarities among each other.

Chandler – STARS (Part 3)

I think the absolute best part about living at UCA and more specifically STARS has been the people. I basically say that in every post in a different way, but seriously. It’s great to have people who love what you love in classes and down the hall in the lobby.

A hangout we did at a local trailer park my freshman year.

A hangout we did at a local trailer park my freshman year.

But you know what’s better? Finding people you have absolutely nothing in common with. Or- at least not a whole lot in common… I’ve met a British girl who went to the same school as Emma Watson and took a year off before college to play semi-professional rugby. I’ve made friends with students from Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and China that have learned the majority of their English after we became friends.

There is diversity among students in everything from music taste, clothing style, type of humor, general speaking volume, and thickness of accent; to things like family income levels, general culture growing up, how sheltered they’ve been, life experiences in general, and so much more.

Even in class, professors will introduce you to new concepts and theories and ways of looking at life. You don’t have to agree with them or change your views, but commit to listen and to take it in. There is an infinite amount of information in the world that you haven’t learned yet or even been exposed to. Give it a shot. I think the best thing you can do is to come to UCA or the STARS or residence colleges in general with the mentality that you don’t know much and go from there. Its amazing what you can learn from people that they didn’t even mean to teach you.

Me and a friend during Coming Out Week.

Me and a friend during Coming Out Week.

I have restarted this sentence three times trying to figure out how to convey through words just how much you will learn and see from people that you haven’t experienced before. Honestly, it’s really easy to stay comfortable and within your own world if you don’t really want to experience anything new, but if you’re willing to step out- you’ll find…everything. I’ve seen everything from the Pride Parades to Decapitalization circuses and step shows. Come to UCA ready and willing to experience new things and meet new people.


Me trying to learn an African folk dane...and failing.

Me trying to learn an African folk dane…and failing.



Brandon – STEM (Part 3)


Me at Battle of the Hall 2011

The residential colleges are truly amazing places when it comes to the sheer number of diverse student voices living and learning together in their communities. Just about every student has their own unique thoughts and opinions about nearly every topic that could possible come up in a conversation, and this is a great thing to have in a community. I have a group of friends that demonstrate this very well. This group has lived in STEM with me for what feels like a lifetime, and I think what makes us all such good friends is how different from each other we really are.




Blaze is one of my oldest friends in STEM and probably the most similar member of my group to myself.  I first met Blaze while playing ping-pong in the STEM lobby my freshman year. We had a large group of guys that played ping-pong for hours every day in the lobby my first year. Blaze was one of the better ping-pong players, so I’d usually play about five or six games against him before I would finally decide to head back to my room. He was, and still is, pretty quiet when it comes to most social situations, so nearly every game we played was in silence. It wasn’t until I moved across the hall from him my second semester that we really had any type of real conversation that didn’t have something to do with ping-pong. But after that, we became pretty good friends, and would usually spend hours talking about all sorts of ridiculous things while hitting around on the ping-pong table. Blaze and I are both pretty easy-going, so we never really argued about a lot of things, but we would often bounce different ideas off each other and would talk about those ideas until something else came up in the conversation.


Ben is Blaze’s roommate, so when I moved across the hall from Blaze my second semester, I also moved across the hall from Ben. Ben is a naturally competitive and argumentative guy who comes from a Mexican background. He is also one of my best friends within STEM, and we probably spend the majority of every day during the school year hanging out with each other. Ben is a computer science major and is fairly good with math which means he is one of the few people around here that will actually have a mathematical conversation with me.  We argue a lot and make fun of each other constantly, but that’s just how we pass the time. Ben and I are kind of like brothers. We fight about a lot of different ideas, but at the end of the day, we are always hanging out with each other and having fun.


Tyrus is my current roommate, and he actually went to the same high school as me before we came to UCA. Tyrus and I never really talked much in high school, but we had a lot of classes together in STEM and in our majors, so we naturally became friends over the years. Mine and Tyrus’ relationship is a lot like my relationship with Ben. We argue just about everyday too, but our arguments are usually about something involving the ability of a linebacker to outrun me in a 100m sprint or some issue from the news. Tyrus is a biochemistry major, and we often talk about various things from his classes too.


Laney was the first girl in our group. Laney was in my Bio II lab group, and I can’t really remember how or why she started hanging out with Ben, Blaze, and I, but she did. At first, Laney kind of went with whatever the group was doing, but as she became more comfortable, her voice became one of the loudest in our group. Laney disagreed with a lot of the things we talked about and would join our arguments and poke fun at the rest of the group just like everyone else did.

Taylor and Anna:

Taylor and Anna are the newest members of our group and were both members of STEM last year then became Advocates for this year. Taylor and Anna are both very different additions to my group of friends. Taylor is very outspoken and will argue about most things. Anna is quieter and usually keeps most of her opinions to herself, but every now and again, we can get her to voice her opinion about something.

Just within my closest group of friends, there is an extremely diverse set of opinions, interests, and personalities that makes my community more enjoyable. The rest of the residential colleges are just like this. Everyone has different viewpoints and when all of those people are put together in the same environment, the product is something great.

Laney – STEM (Part 3)

For the most part, Residential Colleges are made to group together like-minded people. And that can be really nice, but it’s not like we’re just a bunch of clones. You will meet all kinds of different people when you live in a Residential College, just like if you were to live in a regular dorm.

During my freshman and sophomore years here there was an RA on the guys’ side that was from Burma. Prior to him telling me that, I didn’t know that Burma existed. And this guy was a really amusing and fun person. Everyone in the building knew and loved him. Because you couldn’t help not to. All three years that I have lived in STEM, there have been foreign exchange students from Rwanda. And these guys are some of the nicest people you’ll meet while here. And they grew up in a completely different environment than I did for sure. So, I’ve learned a lot about Rwanda and about how very different life can be. STEM even started a study abroad program that involves going to Rwanda and teaching cool hands-on science and math lessons. And in May they are going to back to also teach about canning food and making ovens.

In my experience, you don’t even necessarily have to leave your room to see the diversity that Residential Colleges have to offer. I’ve had more than my share of roommates over the years. Once I had a roommate who was from Kenya. She had the most beautiful accent. Another of my roommates’ mothers was from…I think Korea. And she grew up near a big city. So, having grown up in a pretty small city myself, that was pretty different all on its own.

It doesn’t matter where you’ve come from, what you’re interested in, or what personality type you are. Like I said in my first post, STEM is a family. And from what I’ve heard, that’s the same type of experience you’ll find in any of the Residential Colleges. And what does that mean? That means that you’ll fit in just fine. And you’re also sure to meet all kinds of interesting people while you’re here.

Brady – STARS (Part 3)

"Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes." -Abraham Lincoln (Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure)

“Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.” -Abraham Lincoln (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure)

One thing that has always amazed me since I came to college was the amount of diversity that is contained in these few square miles. When you are growing up, you tend to not be surrounded by people completely different than you, everyone around you is fairly similar. College, though, holds so many different types of people from all over the world– which is to be expected because this is an institute of higher education and, with the various study abroad programs, it makes sense to think we would facilitate people from different countries. But, when you look beyond that, what you find is that we are essentially the same– we just have different interests and hobbies, that’s where the true diversity lies. The Residential College, I believe, is the best way to fully get a sense of the amount of diversity that college has to offer.

In a residential college, every resident is there for a common purpose; for the STARS, it’s to “live the arts,” for STEM, it’s bring together like-minds to collaborate in math, science, and engineering, and, in Hughes, you strive to become a leader on campus and in your community. But, within Residential Colleges, what you find is that there are many different kinds of people there.

Within my RC, the STARS, we all have some ability in the arts that makes it perfect for us to live here. Some residents here are in choir, band, or theater, some like to draw and paint and then there are some here who have no real connection to the arts but their personality is perfect for the atmosphere that we have created here.

An example of such a person would be my friend Chris; Chris isn’t involved in choir or band, instead what he good at is video games. He loves to play and discuss all kinds of video games with his friends; he also has an interest in technology. He loves to find the latest news on computer hardware, cameras, and other technologic devices. Chris is a film major but what he hopes to do one day is start a production company to make his video games, videos and other sketch videos proffesionaly. He may not directly affect our artsy community we have here but he does indirectly with his personality and presence.

My suitemate Jared on the other hand does influence the arts but not through band or theater, through his photography. Jared is one of the most talented photographers that I know and he is truly passionate about what he does. His art isn’t actively displayed for all those to see, unlike the choir or band members. The unique thing is: even though Jared is passionate about what he does, he isn’t a photography major (he’s actually undeclared, so that might change) to him this is just a hobby that he loves and occasionally makes a bit of money off of.

My roommate, Cheston, is similar to me. We were both in choir in high school but not here in college, so he doesn’t actively contribute to the traditional arts community we have here. His interest, though, is in movies; Cheston is a film major with an extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of the movie industry and could tell you almost anything you wanted to know about movies. For Cheston, movies are a hobby that he one day hopes to turn into a career. He one day hopes to be like our resident artists who use paint and music to create art, but his art will be through a different medium, a camera.

Chris, Jared, and Cheston, while not being directly a part of our arts community, still offer a lot to the environment because they don’t fall within the traditional definition of the STARS (choir, band, and theater.) Even within a specified type of Residential College there are those that who have different interest and hobbies but still fit in there.

Diversity isn’t a bad thing; in fact it’s a very good thing. Diversity has the ability to allow us to learn to new things and discover new ways of thinking. It promotes collaboration and the finding of a middle ground to let us connect to each other on a whole new level. The view I gave is just of one small population of entire college, there are many more people out there that are vastly different then us of the STARS RC you just have to be able to open yourself up to them and let the true collegiate experience begin.



Kirsten – EDGE (Part 3)

I moved to UCA from a small town in Arkansas. My graduating class was a HUGE 74 people. My friend who lives only thirty minutes away in a “bigger” town frequently makes fun of my little town. She says, “I don’t stop when I drive through, because I fear I will end up in a situation like the movie Deliverance.” So, it is needless to say we didn’t have much diversity. I had a hard time working through the culture shock of moving to UCA. The population here is not all “white-back-woods-rednecks”.

To some this is going to sound ridiculous, but it is the sad truth. I had never seen a black person outside of the television before moving to UCA. I personally am very interested in people who are different than myself, but terrified of offending people by asking what may seem to be “stupid” or “racist” questions. So, after two semesters of taking classes with and becoming friends with a black girl was I finally able to say, “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but will you tell me about your hair? It always looks so perfect and I have always wanted to know how. I only hear bits of conversations and what I hear on T.V. and I am confused and intrigued.”

She laughed, “Girl, what do you want to know?”

I smiled, “Everything you want to tell me, I know nothing.”

Besides being a place to meet new cultures from here in America. There are people from all over the world, places I knew and places I have never heard of.  Have you heard of Guinea-Bissau?  I have now met two people from there.

One of my RAs (meaning Resident Assistant, not to be confused with “RA”s a noise Lady Ga-Ga uses as lyric fillers) is from Rwanda. His name is Robert. Living with Robert and others who come from such different cultures has been eye opening. He has told me some of his ideas and goals in life. He has an amazing passion to help people back home, a passion that is lost where I come from. Most of the people “back home” for me just want to leave town or be able to survive on minimum wage at the factory raising their children. Not often do they think about helping improve the town.


Living in EDGE has provided me with an even bigger insight than, I can assume (maybe I am true or maybe I am just very proud of my new home), any other Res’ College can offer. EDGE stands for Educating for Global Engagement. This means most of the classes offered in the dorm classroom are geared toward global awareness. What EDGE stands for also explains why there are several exchange students living in the dorm.

While there are many amazing facts to learn from exchange students, I am going to tell you one that is less important on a global stand point, but very interesting in my opinion. I was talking with one of the Chinese exchange students and she told me that she will not eat the cookies in the cafeteria. I asked her why, because I personally think the cookies in the caf’ are the best thing they serve. She then explained to me that where she is from cookies are all crunchy. The fact the caf’ cookies are soft and chewy made her believe they were expired.

To wrap it up, UCA has allowed me to become a cultured being. Not only is there a huge diversity on campus, but within my beautiful Res’ College home there is enough culture to learn more about the world than my high school geography class could have ever taught me.

Jackson – EPIC (Part 3)


When you initially hear the word diversity discussed regarding an institution or organization, what comes to mind?  Most people think of racial diversity, working together as one cohesive unit.  While this is found within all of UCA’s Residential Colleges, that is not all that diversity encompasses here.

We have a wide variety of Residential Colleges that fit multiple fields of interest.  This diversity allows for everyone who comes to UCA to find his or her perfect fit.  Diversity can be seen even within these individual programs, which is pretty remarkable if you think about it.  With EPIC, teams are created to tackle projects that nobody in particular is an expert on, so that everyone is able to contribute their points of view.  In the group for my most recent project, we had a Marketing major, Chemistry major, Music Education major, Physical Therapy major, and a Pre-Medical Biology major.  Because of this, we had methodological business minds, creative artistic minds, and analytical science minds all working as a unified group to complete our project.

Having projects with such diversity allows students in Residential Colleges to experience more than those who are not, both in projects than they can participate in, as well as the huge variety of friends they will inevitably make.  UCA’s Residential Colleges are an amazing way for people to meet and interact with others from all walks of life.

Chelsey – STARS (Part 3)




I come from a small town at the very bottom of Arkansas; it only contains 5,000 people and takes 10 minutes to drive all the way through. Growing up, I was not exposed to many that lived outside of my town. Sure, we had one foreign exchange student every year, but that was all. When I first started attending UCA, I lived in a dorm known as State Hall.

I did not know much about the dorm until I had already moved in—I did not expect that the dorm was mainly for foreign exchange students. It was specifically for those who were so far from home that, during holidays such as Christmas Break, they still needed to be able to live in the dorms or they would have nowhere else to stay. Living in State was my first experience with diversity in Residential Colleges. I was able to meet (and live next door to!) people from a plethora of different places, such as Africa and China. Meeting people from all around the world allowed me to be exposed to different religions, languages, and even foods! Then, at the end of the first semester, I changed dorms.

I currently live in Short/Denney, a dorm that focuses more on the arts. Don’t think the diversity among students is of lesser value here, on the contrary! Short/Denney contains plenty of students with different lifestyles. And it is not only the foreign exchange students who represent the diversity in the Residential Colleges– it is every single student who walks in the halls. Especially when it comes to religion, I have met Mormons, Christians, Buddhists, Atheists, Muslims, and so many more.

Meeting these people in Residential Colleges with all these different beliefs and values allows me to open my mind and try to see things from the eyes of others. Diversity is important for the college experience. Students have to learn that their ‘world’ isn’t the only one that exists, that open-mindedness is one of the many puzzle pieces that fit into a better future for everyone. Racism and prejudice only lead to needless conflict; I believe that the diversity in Residential Colleges helps students raised with slightly skewed views open their eyes. We can only reach as far as our mind is broad.

Hunter – EDGE (Part 3)

Hunter2When I think of EDGE Residential College the first thing that pops to mind is diversity. After all we are the international residence hall.

We have programs in our building to help students adjust from their small-town lives to big-city culture and diversity. One of the programs that I’ve grown to love is called language corner. It is a way for students to get to know each other from all over campus and to learn about different cultures and learn new words and ideas in different languages. Language corner is a way to have fun with games and to get students talking.

I personally grew up in a small town in North Arkansas that was filled with just a sprinkling of diverse cultures.  Now, I’m not going to lie when I came to UCA I did experience a little culture shock. I knew it was going to be a big change but I didn’t know how big of a change my life would have in store.

When I was welcomed on my freshman move-in day I remember one of the first people I met was Robert from Rwanda in Africa. I could tell by his accent he definitely was not from around here and I realize my life has changed completely. As the day grew on I’ve met people from all over the world including students from China and Japan and even Saudi Arabia.

I feel EDGE was the best thing that could have ever happened to me my freshman year because I became so open to different cultures and open to new ideas and experiences and has given me a totally different perspective.


Daniel – STARS (Part 3)

Dan2Daniel. Freshman. Marketing Major. STARS Residential College.

When writing on the topic of “diversity” the most socially obvious point of discussion is of the ethnic or racial diversity of one’s surroundings. Given my background this is a fair definition. Graduating from high school in Bentonville to university in Conway carries a noticeable shift in demographics. However when considering my exposure to greater diversity at UCA I rarely think along those lines. The fact that the racial demographic of Bentonville is more uniform than my new home in Central Arkansas rarely occurs to me. College has matured my sense of diversity more to individuals and not attempts to divide people into a myriad of categories.

Living in a Residential College is a wonderful method of meeting people different than oneself. The STARS offers a charming summary of different parts of Arkansas. I am from NWA. My girlfriend, also a Short/Denney resident, is from a southern town that borders Louisiana. Many of my friends have homes scattered across our state’s interior while others come from nations outside America; each brings a different social viewpoint to our shared world in the STARS.

I taste different foods being prepared in our kitchen. I hear different music played in the halls and different languages in conversation. Diversity exists in the STARS Residential College and every member of our program benefits from it.Daniel4

Seneca – EPIC (Part 3)

EPICEPIC Residential College is all about diversity. I would go as far as to say regardless of what major you are you can make a difference here in EPIC.

I am living proof of this because I myself am a nutrition/dietetics major. We live by the “think wrong concept” which I would think to some extent would indicate a theme of diversity. We have biochemistry majors, psychology majors, physical therapy, (you get the hint) the list goes on and on.

So don’t let your major stop you from being part of EPIC Residential College.  We have diverse majors, diverse people with diverse personalities. That is our makeup here in EPIC and it all comes together to work out pretty well I might add.

Are you nervous about fitting in? Don’t worry, I was too. No need to be concerned. You will find who you mesh up the first week you are here, especially when you get in your teams. Not only do we have diversity in students we are diverse with our projects as well.

We are approaching the end of the first full school year of EPIC Residential Colleges inception and since that time we have done a few different activities. We have done a create your own app contest, a best game at tailgate contest, recruitment/retention ideas and community enhancement projects and I see no end to the activities during my time here.

Step away from the normal college life and do something that’s fun and different at the same time.

Come find your niche, all students welcome!!!