On a recent episode of Newman University’s official podcast, “The Newman Bond,” Director of Residence Life Ian Lecki chatted with current student Thomas Munn about the benefits of living on campus.
Munn, a Wichita native, shared he came to Newman because he earned the Monsignor McNeill Scholarship, and he also signed to play on the baseball team.
Because Munn knew his schedule would be busy as a freshman, he decided to live on campus instead of commuting from his childhood home just 20 minutes away.
“I didn’t want to do that back and forth,” he said. “I also got the opportunity to be part of Metanoia, so that really helped in my decision since I knew that I’d be in a good community of fellow Catholics.”
Metanoia is a living community that consists of 10 members who want to create a lifestyle based on Catholic values that honor God, serve the community and promote human dignity and academic growth. The community is located on the third floor of Beata Hall, where there are two pods each equipped with five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room. They also have a shared lobby on the floor where the community gathers in prayer and fellowship.
“I very much enjoyed it, especially being a freshman in college and not quite knowing people,” Munn said. “Having that group of people get you started just made the transition that much easier.”
Lecki went on to explain that first-time students live in Carrocci Hall, where Munn is now a resident assistant (RA). This residence hall consists of suite-style rooms with two residents per bedroom and four students to a bathroom.
Beata Hall is for sophomore students and consists of “pods” for five students who each have their own bedroom. Fugate Hall is for students 21 and older and is made up of two-bedroom apartments with students sharing one bathroom.
Munn explained that since Beata Hall is centrally located on campus, he was able to get to his classes quickly and had more time to relax beforehand.
His advice for students on move-in day is to wait to buy certain things until they get on campus.
“It made move in less stressful because there was less stuff,” Munn said. “I was able to see the outline of my room and see if there was other stuff I would need or want for my room. As you go on throughout the semester, you realize things and see the stuff other people have and you’re like, ‘Oh, that’d be really nice to have.’”
In Munn’s opinion, the pros of living on campus include the chance to meet new people and immerse in all that Newman has to offer.
“Living on campus has brought so many more opportunities for me to meet people, to grow and to start the next step in my life of going out on my own.”
Munn added that living in the residence hall made seeing people on campus that much better.
“You don’t feel alone, per se,” he said. “You see familiar faces that you can go sit with in the café or in classes. You can also find people to help you in your classes because you’re living on the same floor with them, so it’s easier to go do homework.”
If a new student were to ask Munn if they should live on campus or not, he would wholeheartedly say yes.
“It’s an experience you’re not going to be able to get back,” he said. “I’ve gained so much from living on campus that I wouldn’t have gotten before. If you’re caught in between, I would recommend just going for it. I feel like you have so much to gain and not that much to lose.”
Munn added that it’s especially important for first-time students to consider living on campus, as it’s a great way to get to know the community and fellow students.
“It makes the college experience that much easier,” he said. “With classes and stuff, it can get pretty stressful, but having the ability to release stress or not think about homework for a little bit is very beneficial.”
Today as an RA, Munn feels he’s in a position of service and avoids putting himself on a pedestal.
“I have people who will stop by my room occasionally just to talk for a little bit and mess around,” he said. “I appreciate that they feel like they can do that.”
Munn ended the podcast episode with this bit of advice:
“I know first semester as a freshman is tough,” he said. “But once you hit that second semester and you find your place in the university, you get to understand yourself a little bit more and it becomes easier as you go forward. The struggles of life are going to come no matter what, and you’re going to have to get through them one way or another. I feel like living on campus and having the support of the people on campus makes it much easier.”
Explore the Newman University residence halls
When students live on campus, they’re better connected with fellow classmates, in the know about campus and university-sponsored activities and more.