Honors College to expand housing opportunities this fall

Erin Ahrens, the Honors College community coordinator.

Leah Marxen

Sophomore honors students will now have the opportunity to move out of Stopher-Johnson while continuing to live in the honors living learning community.

The Honors College offers a living learning community in Stopher and Johnson Halls. This LLC is built to encourage honors students to become an academic community. The community offers numerous activities and programs specifically tailored for honors students.

“We have known for several years that Stopher-Johnson is a really important part of the freshman experience, and we get to a point early in the housing application process, usually by the beginning of March, that it is filled up with students that want to come in as freshmen. We want to be able to say that Stopher-Johnson is available to more students,” said Erin Ahrens, the Honors College community coordinator.

In the past, honors students were not allowed to live with non-honors students if they chose to live in the honors LLC at Stopher-Johnson. Now with the expansion into Centennial Court B, honors students have the option to live with non-honors students.

“It [the expansion] can help compromise with those honors students wanting to live/room with non-honors students, which would save the Stopher-Johnson building for strictly students apart of the Honors College,” wrote Shelby Noveske, a junior honors student who used to live in Johnson Hall.

Associate Director of Student Learning and Assessment Chris Tankersley said that not all honors students live in Stopher-Johnson and some students are more inclined to live elsewhere. Expanding into Centennial Court B gives honors students the option of where they can live while still being involved in the honors community.

“I think the honors LLC moving into Centennial Court B is a great idea because it gives students the opportunity to integrate with non-honors students, while still retaining the LLC. It can be difficult to make friends within Stopher-Johnson but this could possibly take away that obstacle,” said Kennedy Horrigan, a sophomore honors student living in Stopher Hall.  

Noveske said that events were held often at Stopher-Johnson and they were something she would attend frequently because they were so conveniently located.

“There were watch parties in the lounges for certain TV shows, game nights and various other activities that I was more likely to attend because they were held right in my dorm,” Noveske said.

Centennial Court B is one of the five Centennial Halls on campus. Located between Midway Drive and Tri-Towers, Centennial Court B is within a five minute walk of Stopher-Johnson.

“Physically, from a facility standpoint, Centennial Court B is set up the same; it has floor lounges, it has some meeting space in the lower level for activities and events, it has the private baths the same as Stopher-Johnson. So physically, it looks the same and feels the same,” Tankersley said.

The similarity of the buildings will be helpful to all honors students when attending programs and activities held by the Honors College.

“Welcome Weekend events would move to Centennial Court B as well as Cookies and Registration too. We talked about doing career center drop-ins that we do already in the honors facility over in Centennial Court B,” Ahrens said.

As these activities and programs move to Centennial Court B, more mature students may want to as well.

“I also like the fact that Centennials typically have upperclassmen in them and honors sophomores are mature and sometimes need that older environment to start to think about career goals and their future,” said Catherine Clawson, a sophomore honors student.

As a sophomore living in Stopher Hall, Clawson said she would consider moving into Centennial Court B.

The expansion of the Honors College will debut in the fall. Housing registration applications will be out March 1.

Leah Marxen covers housing. Contact her at [email protected]