A new academic residential community for the health sciences along with part of the Robert D. Clark Honors College ARC will be located in Bean Hall beginning in the fall 2018 term.
These changes are coming as an effort to balance the heavy liberal arts focus of the current roster of ARCs and to give more room type options to CHC students, respectively, according to Kevin Hatfield, the director of academic residential and research initiatives in the housing department.
ARCs are programs that house students with a specific interest together, examples of which include the Musical Scholars and the Social Activism ARCs.
What’s going to be in the Health Sciences ARC?
The Health Sciences ARC is aimed at students who are interested in health careers that can range from biomedical research to veterinary medicine.
The student-faculty relationships are one of the biggest selling points about this ARC, said Hatfield. Students can connect with faculty in their field of interest in out-of-class events, such as dinners, and students will also have advisors who specifically cater to students interested in the healthcare field.
“Students are making connections with faculty in their potential majors or an area where they might do research in a lab,” Hatfield said. “That way, especially in the sciences, a lot of those students are looking for opportunities to work in labs or to get involved in grant-funded research projects, and the earlier they start that process the better.”
Hatfield expects the program to grow, but he said that the funding for faculty will depend on the ARC’s popularity.
Faculty members who are willing to teach Health Sciences ARC students have to drop another course that they would normally be teaching. If the ARC expanded enough to require a second faculty member, then the ARC would need enough funding to “buy” that faculty member.
Hannah Bishop, who will be the sole instructor, is excited to work with students outside of the classroom to help them discover their passion. She was in a state of uncertainty during her undergraduate years when trying to decide on what field to pursue in college.
“It’s a really unique time in your life to be able to try things out and figure out what you’re interested in,” Bishop said. “So if I can encourage students to do that to seek those things out and to hopefully find something that they find fascinating that they want to think about and work on, then that’s what I want to do.”
Health Sciences ARC students will take a total of four credits of courses throughout the school year: one credit in fall and winter terms and two credits in the spring term, which will apply toward a science group general education requirement.
The west side of Bean Hall — construction for which began in summer 2017 and will finish in fall 2018 — will house students for the upcoming year while construction begins on the east side of Bean Hall.
The newly renovated west side of Bean Hall will include various study spaces for students, faculty offices and co-ed floors with individual family-style restrooms.
All UO students who are living in the dorms are eligible to apply to live in an ARC, according to the UO Housing website, though all 100 seats in the Health Sciences community have been filled for the 2018-19 academic year. It does not cost extra to live in an ARC, and the environmental leaders ARC is also currently housed in Bean Hall.
What’s happening to the Clark Honors College ARC?
In previous years, some CHC students who applied to the CHC ARC would apply for room types that did not exist in Global Scholars Hall, where the ARC is currently housed, due to complications with StarRez, the UO housing website.
“It let them select pretty much any room type,” said Leah Andrews, the UO Housing communications director, including rooms that did not exist in GSH.
UO Housing decided to expand to Bean Hall to offer CHC students more room types, some of which may be less expensive than GSH, which is one of the most expensive dorms on campus. As of the 2017-18 school year, the least expensive room type in GSH still costs $2,500 more than the least expensive room type in University Housing overall.
“So our hope is that this means that students who might not have been able to live within Global Scholars can still be part of the Clark Honors community and take part in all of the rich activities they have and not be kept that because of cost,” Andrews said.
About 210 students usually enroll in the CHC ARC, and Hatfield expects about 30 more students to live in the Bean Hall CHC ARC.
Correction: Hatfield is the director of academic residential and research initiatives. This article stated that he was the assistant director of academic initiatives.