CNCC students supply insight about housing plans on Craig campus | CraigDailyPress.com

CNCC students supply insight about housing plans on Craig campus

Wednesday's student forum is the latest step in the college's exploration of residence housing

Michael Neary

Second-year CNCC student Laura Secules concentrates on a survey about potential student housing on the college’s Craig campus.





Second-year CNCC student Laura Secules concentrates on a survey about potential student housing on the college's Craig campus.
Michael Neary

Colorado Northwestern Community College officials are gazing in the direction of students as they explore plans to build residence housing on the Craig campus.

Director of Student Support Jennifer Holloway and Interim Director of Marketing Kirstie McPherson distributed a survey to elicit students’ feedback about residence housing Wednesday in the garage space that's been converted into a student lounge. McPherson encouraged students to spread the word about the discussion.

Holloway asked students to imagine, as they were filling out the survey, that they were coming to CNCC from far away.

"If you weren't from here, what would attract you to come?" asked Holloway. "What would attract a student from Minneapolis or Seattle?"

As students walked in and out of the lounge, they filled out the questionnaire and talked about the whole concept of housing on the Craig campus of CNCC. The subject of residence life has been under discussion since the campus opened up in 2011. Now, a housing committee has been formed to look at specific proposals. CNCC President Russell George has said the campus is in a better position to accommodate housing now than it was a few years ago now that programs are established and the faculty has expanded.

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For some students, greater independence seemed to rise to the top of their wish list for student housing.

"I think it would be very convenient for students who live far away or who live in town to get an opportunity to live on their own," said Laura Secules, a 19-year-old, second-year student at the college.

Jacob Prescott, 18, also noted the elimination of transportation in a rough winter climate for on-campus students.

"I think it would just be nice to live closer to the campus, so you could make it here and not have to drive if the roads are crazy," he said.

Melissa Hill and Abby Miles designed the survey at Holloway's request. Hill is the student government treasurer on campus, and Miles is a student government senator. The questionnaire asked about activities and programming, facilities such as laundry, technology and other amenities.

Hill said the very existence of campus housing could lead to student growth and an expansion of programs. She also noted that it might solidify a sense of community among the students who lived there.

"What's a campus without a dorm?" she asked, pondering what it would be like if she lived on campus.

"I could be more independent and be around people I can study with and connect with," she said. "And then, if you want to come here and be in the garage, you can walk right over."

The questionnaire that Hill and Miles devised didn't stop with housing. They also asked about other facilities students might like to see on campus, including a cafeteria, a rec center, coffee shop and theaters for plays and films.

"I think the rec center and the movie theater and the drama theater would get us that much more involved with the community," Miles said.

Holloway said surveys would be sent via the Internet to students who couldn't come to Wednesday's focus group.

"We're going to put these out around the school," she added, "and then compile all the data on them by next Thursday and take it to our housing committee."

Contact Michael Neary at 970-875-1794 or mneary@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.