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Transforming the residential experience

Living on Campus

A new framework plan to transform Northwestern's residential experience

Northwestern has unveiled a framework plan for a new undergraduate residential experience that preserves the traditions many students have come to define as synonymous with their residential experience while building on community connections and helping students thrive in new, distinct and robust Neighborhoods across the Evanston campus.

After the report was released, students, faculty, and staff were invited to respond to its recommendations at open forums and online during a community feedback period. Over the course of 10 weeks, the University hosted a series of forums during which students, faculty and staff asked questions and offered input about the new plan. Input from community members also came by email, letter, or comments submitted through an online form. The framework continues to be shaped by listening to the entire University community.

Students walking outside

The proposed framework, released in January 2018,  is outlined by the Undergraduate Residential Experience Committee (UREC) in a comprehensive report as well as a shorter summary. The provost and vice president for student affairs will now appoint working groups to examine key issues in greater detail than was possible in the UREC report.

Read the full report

The single residential model

The Evanston campus will be organized into new “Neighborhoods” in which students have access to common facilities, programming and support, including a network of care and wellness assistance and Faculty-in-Residence.

Sense of home

Sense of home

Since the population of each Neighborhood could range from 700 to 1,100 students, new Houses would be created, as well — at a much smaller level, perhaps 75-to-170 students — to give students a sense of home.

Opportunity for all

Opportunity for all

Northwestern will be very intentional in breaking down barriers to diversity and managing the Neighborhood level to ensure equity of opportunity in everything from attendance at outings in Chicago to academic support.

Student ownership

Student ownership

Houses would provide more latitude for experimentation and student ownership, giving individuals the freedom to choose their own activities and pursuits in taking a Northwestern direction.

Identity and traditions

Identity and traditions

Northwestern envisions five clusters of Residential Services buildings as well as fraternities and sororities, and each of these five Neighborhoods is expected to develop its own identity, symbols and traditions.

Students will see friendly, familiar faces in their daily routines. At the same time, they’ll continue meeting new people in the many spaces that will be common to all residents of a Neighborhood.”

Patricia Telles-Irvin
Vice President for Student Affairs

Students in pod chairs

Next Steps

Students in lounge

Working groups

Students, faculty and staff are being invited to serve on working groups based on the pertinence of their positions and campus experiences to the group's charge. Twelve working groups are anticipated on a range of topics from Neighborhood identity to residential student governance and leadership. Their recommendations will inform decisions by the University about plans to launch the single residential model in academic year 2019-20.

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Published: January 18, 2018. Updated: May 23, 2018.

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