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Hutton Honors College

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HHC students enjoy living in Teter Honors Residential Community (HRC)

Diverse activities, great social opportunities, a focus on academics-these are a few of the reasons why students enjoy life in the Honors Residential Community in Teter, which, as of this year, subsumes all four floors of the Boisen building.

"Living in an HRC was pivotal for me because of the extra focus on academics and people taking difficult courses," said Adriana Rivera, resident assistant for floor one of Boisen and aspiring high school English teacher. "You struggle with someone and have that support, which is especially important in your first year."

Hutton Residential Communities exist in three of Residential Programs & Services' neighborhoods-Northwest, Southeast, and Central. Teter is in the latter, and besides its convenient location, it features air-conditioning, private bathrooms, and coed floors, making it a popular choice for incoming Hutton students.

Freshman Claire Mullaney, a biology major who lives on the fourth floor, said she thoroughly researched her housing options. While she was interesting in all the living-learning communities, especially the outdoor one, she ultimately opted for Boisen.

"I like being with people with similar goals," Mullaney said. "I've made some really good friends on my floor."

Activities abound for the Teter HRC, from pumpkin carving, talent shows, movie nights, and debates to cultural dinners at ethnic restaurants.

"Before midterms, our RA did a facials thing for everybody, boys and girls. I know the boys had fun with it, too," Mullaney said.

Besides on-campus activities, HRC students sometimes have the opportunity to travel.

"We went to McCormick Creek's State Park at the beginning of the year, and they bussed us out there and got us all lunch," Mullaney said. "We didn't have to pay anything, which I was surprised about."

Students can also opt to go on a yearly trip during Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, with the destination decided by a student survey; Chicago and New York are frequent choices. This year, students traveled to New York City, and because it was subsidized, Mullaney noted, it only cost $100 per student.

Even when activities aren't ongoing, students find plenty of time to socialize and study together.

"I don't know if this is unusual, but I think I know every single person's name on the floor," freshman physics major David Rowe, who lives on floor one, said.

In addition, the keys for any floor on Boisen work for all four of them, "which I guess is to encourage us to mix and mingle about," said floor one freshman Sara Zaheer, political science major.

"At first I was kind of wary of living in an honors dorm because of whatever negative connotations, but it's actually really fun," Zaheer said. "Everyone's really smart about one thing or another, so we have interesting conversations and we're always going out and doing things together."

Having residents with diverse areas of study and talents has proven helpful to Zaheer, who thinks "the entire floor is a resource," a sentiment echoed by others.

When working on his honors physics work, Rowe said, others can "see and analyze and provide ways to solve a problem that I wouldn't have thought of."

This community spirit is central to Teter's HRC. Mullaney said she's heard from some friends not living in living-learning centers that their floors aren't as integrated, leading to alienation and trouble connecting with others.

"Naturally, because almost everybody comes in with the desire to be in a community, it just becomes one more so than if you just view it as a place to live," Mullaney said. "Even though that attitude may not be conscious, it really shows and allows people to connect with each other."

Celia Grundman '14

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