Monday, April 22, 2019

Doonesbury Hall Redesigned as International Community Dorm

Madison Vaughn ’21

Staff Writer

Beginning in the fall of 2019, the dorm currently known as Doonesbury will be transformed into the Cross Cultural Living Community (CCLC). With 24 beds available, the hope is to fill each of them with students from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

The CCLC idea was first discussed during the Bicentennial Strategic Planning Commission meetings and included in the Global College Subcommittee Report in 2017. Professor Reo Matsuzaki of Trinity’s Political Science Department was a part of the subcommittee and asked by Anne Lambright, Dean of Academic Affairs, to take on this recommendation.

Matsuzaki was inspired to create the CCLC based on his own undergraduate experience. When attending Georgetown University, Matsuzaki was a member of the Global Living Center. There, the space was filled with students from all over the world. Matsuzaki, an international student from Japan, became close friends with a student from North Carolina who eventually moved to France to open a brewery with another friend he had met through this program. “This space was created as a way for those abroad to feel at home and allow those to become more integrated not just into college but America itself,” said Matsuzaki. Many on Trinity’s campus notice the vast diversity, but it is often extremely split among international and domestic students.

With this new CCLC, Matsuzaki hopes it can become a solution to solving this issue on campus. In addition, those on the CCLC committee hope this new community will be an attraction to all students, but especially the sophomore class. Not only will it enhance the sophomore experience, but it will also be an answer for those sophomores who still feel lost and unsure about where they truly fit in on Trinity’s campus. Lastly, they hope to attract juniors who will be going abroad in the spring of 2020 as preparation for their semester away, or for those juniors who will be coming back in the spring as a way to continue their multi-cultural experience.

The CCLC plans to be able to host cultural events and even co-host with other cultural houses and clubs on campus. This is what makes the Doonesbury dorm on Vernon Street such a prime location for the Trinity community.

Within the CCLC, there will be a Residential Assistant, which can be anyone that not only wants to join the community, but also wants to be heavily involved in programming and working with those involved such as Professor Matsuzaki. He will also be holding office hours once a week in the home for the residents or any students who would like to stop by. Moreover, the dorm will be renovated this summer, placing a new kitchen, common space, and office space to  create a more inviting environment for the community.

The CCLC will be set up like the Fred on campus, where each student must apply to live in the dorm. This application will be due on March 11, 2019 for those who are interested for the fall semester or for the whole year. This application is open to everyone on campus, allowing for the diversity within the home to be completely based on the application pool. Katherine Clair, the International Student Advisor on campus, will be hosting a Q&A session soon for any students interested or any who have questions about the new living community.

After speaking with Professor Matsuzaki, those on the CCLC team, including Dean of Students Joe DiChristina and Dean of Academic Affairs Anne Lambright, are extremely excited for the opening in the fall. They are hopeful that they can fill all 25 dorm rooms and look forward to seeing what the first year will bring for the Cross Cultural Living Community.

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