CCI Commons gets new home, Olson Hall to become co-ed

Kristen Russo

As the fall semester ends and Kent State moves toward spring, students who are thinking about residence hall contracts for the 2007-2008 academic year may want to know about a few changes.

CCI Commons, the learning community in Verder Hall, will move to Olson Hall in Fall 2007. Marianne Warzinski, CCI Commons program coordinator, said when the commons moves to Olson, the all-female residence hall will become co-ed.

Joel Bynum, residence services senior learning community coordinator, said Prentice will remain all-female, so the option will still be available to students interested in living in an all-female residence hall.

Olson Hall will exclusively house all CCI Commons members and events, and Warzinski said members must live in Olson Hall to participate.

“We think Olson will be a good place for us to be,” Warzinski said. “It’ll be nice next year when we have our own building.”

She said it’s hard to run the community now because members aren’t required to live in Verder Hall because of space constrictions.

The commons was allotted 80 extra slots in Verder for the 2006-2007 academic year, but Jim Gaudino, dean of the College of Communication and Information, said they had to turn away more than 60 interested students because there wasn’t enough room. When it moves to Olson Hall, the commons will have the entire building.

Warzinski and Gaudino said the move will make it easier for students to think of CCI Commons in a different fashion.

“We’ve always thought of ourselves as a residential college; learning communities are often smaller, and many are freshmen-based,” Gaudino said. “We wanted a way of connecting upperclassmen with lowerclassmen because there is not a lot of connection between them now with the way our programs are structured.”

After the move, the commons will be able to hold more equipment that students in the college need for their course work. Gaudino discussed having a small TV studio where electronic media production majors can experiment with lighting and green screens, and work stations where visual communication design majors can work.

“The bigger the learning community, the more resources we can have, the more goodies we can put in that residential environment,” Gaudino said.

Warzinski said the equipment from the CCI Commons Computer Lounge that opened Nov. 1 will be moved to Olson.

Gaudino and Warzinski also said resident assistants in CCI Commons will be mostly College of Communication and Information majors. The RAs will be able to give students advice about projects and how to use certain tools and equipment that are required for their majors.

Katie Rahl, sophomore communication studies minor, wants to be an RA in Olson in the fall. She said the move would be good for the commons.

“I’m really excited because it’s going to be a really good opportunity to build a better-running community,” Rahl said. “We can all be in the same dorm, have the same projects and really work together because that’s what we’ll be doing in the real world, and that’s really going to benefit us.”

Warzinski said having RAs who are CCI majors will benefit the commons because the RAs will also be able to put on programs that are geared more toward the residents’ majors.

Students who are interested in becoming CCI Commons members should apply to live in Olson or contact Marianne Warzinski at [email protected].

There will be a question and answer session for interested students at 5 p.m. tonight in the Verder Lounge.

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Kristen Russo at [email protected].