Special Interest Housing

Mary Bove, Multimedia Editor

Change is roaring through campus with the new R.E.A.C.H. program, which provides substance-free living on campus.

The R.E.A.C.H. program, Residents Excelling in Academics, Community and Health, is “an environment for students that share common interest.  They want to shy away from the typical college life type of stuff,” according to AJ Nudo, Assistant Director of Residence Life.

Alumnae/McGowan Residence Hall Director Alissa Perez raised the idea for R.E.A.C.H. last fall, and Residence Life Staff supported it.

“I saw when I came to Misericordia that they didn’t have any type of special interest housing at all and I thought that it could be something that students could really benefit from, especially since there were none here,” said Perez. “Then I talked to AJ about it and he thought it was a good idea. He actually oversaw a program like this at Kutztown when he was a graduate student there.”

The month-old program has been well-received by participating residents. “I think it’s a really great way to put like-minded people together so that we all respect each other and our wishes to keep the floor quiet and have a place that’s conducive to studying,” said sophomore DeAnna Darling.

Quite a few of the occupants feel that this positive environment is essential to college life.

“I think it’s a really good way for students who don’t want to be involved in alcohol or drugs or anything like that to focus on their studies and spend time with their friends without having to worry about influences,” said junior Jenn Sedor.

But residents do not want others to think they only sit and their rooms studying: they have fun, too. Whether it is playing video games or watching movies, having floor programs sponsored through Residence Life or eating pizza, these residents are like most other college students.

R.E.A.C.H. Program RA Jeremy Osko. said there have been no blips so far this year. “I haven’t had anyone complain about anything yet,” said  “Nothing is breaking, other than the doors and the [numerous] fire alarms that people complained about.”

Nudo said the program’s students have reported these issues optimistically. “I think students have brought their concerns to us respectfully. We will see what we can do to correct those issues. I think the students overall enjoy it, they are glad to be there and I think that the overall experience for them is a positive one,” said Nudo.

Perez said he expects a positive response from future first years. “I think that it’s most important for incoming freshman because they are making life decisions for the first time away from home and they’re away from their parents and being in an environment like this really encourages them to make good decisions and study, and they are around people who are thinking similarly to themselves,” said Perez.

For more information about the R.E.A.C.H. Program contact Residence Life.

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