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ERIC Number: EJ788991
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar-14
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
The Campus as Hometown
Boren, David
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n27 pA34 Mar 2008
A university president discusses his goal to use the college years, when students live closely together, to create a community where individuals assume responsibility for each other. The writer advocates decision-making with this goal in mind at the forefront. Outdoor spaces and gardens with benches need to be designed to function as inviting outdoor "rooms" to bring people together for conversation. Residential dormitories need to become homes, with faculty families living physically with students in a way that invites intergenerational friendships and discussions. Rooming decisions should be made in ways that bring students of diverse backgrounds together so they can grow by being around people unlike themselves. Acknowledging that ethnic and cultural groups will naturally form separate organizations, there is also a need to bring them together to work on common projects and to be physically housed close to one another. Buildings need to be designed to encourage shared interdisciplinary spaces. Boren advocates for a "heart of campus" at the student union, that fills the functions of a small-town drugstore or favorite local cafe, where everyone passes through each day to visit and find out what is going on in the community. Benefits to such an atmosphere, advocates the writer, are the break-down of racial and other stereotypes, as students get to know each other as individuals. Students learn to care about and care for each other. Those connections lead to greater civility in the community, a quality much needed in national discourse.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A