Boris Tsang/Sun File Photo

The Low Rise 6 and 7 Hall Council boards plan events that promote community engagement among their residents.

December 4, 2023

For Low Rise Residents, Community Engagement Outweighs Amenity Issues

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Amid brand-new dorms built for the North Campus Residential Expansion project, Low Rise 6 and 7 sit tucked away, known to many first-year students as unlucky housing assignments. The Low Rises have faced issues with piping, heating and internet, but many residents believe that the Low Rise 6 and 7 Hall Council boards are responding to resident complaints while prioritizing student interaction and well-being. 

Despite a lack of elevators or air conditioning, several residents told The Sun that they are happy with the invaluable community the Low Rises have provided them.

Hiba Loukssi ’27 is the president of the Low Rise 6 Hall Council — a leadership board dedicated to voicing resident feedback, planning events and tending to hall issues. As a first-generation student from Ohio, she described her residence hall as her unexpected home away from home. Serving as president and representing the Low Rise 6 community has been her “biggest honor,” Loukssi said. 

“I really found that kind of community that makes me feel comfortable and like I can truly be myself,” Loukssi said. “I’ve met some of the most incredible, passionate and artistic people just living in the Low Rises.”

Paige Peters ’27, a Low Rise 6 resident, said she finds her single dorm in Low Rise 6 to be much less isolating compared to what she has heard about singles in other halls, citing the tight-knit community of Low Rise 6.

“The people in my unit feel more like my family than my friends,” Peters said. 

Andrew Sposato ’27, a resident of Low Rise 7, recognized the appeal of the more modern,  newer dorms but said he found the Low Rises “better than most other college dorms.”

Sposato met his hallmates during Orientation Week, and he said they have remained his closest friends since. He added that enjoys seeing full lounges and close friendships among other Low Rise residents. 

According to Loukssi, the Low Rise Hall Council has gotten positive feedback on their consistent community events such as paint nights, grab-and-go breakfasts and a Low Rise Oktoberfest. They are currently planning a study break event on Dec. 5 to allow students to de-stress amid the chaos of finals looming. 

“Whether it’s a welcome back breakfast, a holiday-themed event or even study sessions with snacks … we just always strive to strengthen the community,” said Sofia Nwosu ’27, secretary for the Low Rise 7 Hall Council. 

Peters said she enjoyed the Low Rise Halloween party that the council organized, and she appreciates their dedication to planning dorm activities and fostering a sense of community.

Representatives of the Residential Student Congress told Nwosu that they are impressed with exceptional community engagement in Low Rise 6 and 7, which Nwosu accredits to the Low Rise residents’ community spirit. 

Loukssi said the council’s biggest priority is to serve their valued community and provide opportunities for peer interaction and relaxation. 

“These events are for students to just relax and be college students — not constantly feeling like they need to be doing more,” Loukssi said. “Knowing that I am in a position to give back to this community that’s already given me so much truly has been such a blessing.”

Although residents have expressed appreciation for hall council events, they have also found some amenities  unreliable or inadequate. Loukssi noted the lack of accessibility for residents with physical disabilities, such as the building’s lack of elevators or handicap door openers — a concern that Peters shared as well. Loukssi’s roommate recently tore her ACL and was forced to move out of Low Rise 6 because of these issues. 

“I feel like, especially with a community like this, we’ve learned to work around it, but the accessibility issue should not be worked around,” Loukssi said. 

Nwosu also said she has received complaints from residents regarding washing machines breaking often. With multiple washers and dryers breaking, there are often lines of students waiting to wash their clothes.

“There have been multiple times where the washing machines break down with as low as two, or even one, working washing machines for over 160 residents,” Nwosu said. 

Karen Brown, senior director of campus life marketing and communications, previously told The Sun that the administration is working with their third-party vendor, CSC ServiceWorks, to replace all machines installed before 2021 during the summer of 2024. 

Loukssi described this issue as just another obstacle to overcome to ensure all residents have a quality living environment. According to Nwosu, the process to resolve this issue is slow, but it does not invalidate their positive living experience. 

“I know it gets a bad reputation, but I actually like Low Rise 7 a lot,” Sposato said.