Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, August 6, 2010

What a day in the life of a North Quad resident might look like

The first new residence hall constructed at the university in more than 40 years, North Quadrangle Residential and Academic Complex also is home to several academic programs, providing a one-of-a-kind living and learning environment that leverages advanced networking technologies and international programs to extend the university experience to a global perspective.

University Housing Director Linda Newman offers the following glimpse of what could be a day in the life of a fictional student living in North Quad.

Alyssa is a junior in LSA with a concentration in Screen Arts and Cultures. She lives on the sixth floor of the North Quadrangle Residential and Academic Complex with three of her best friends. In this unique place, Alyssa thrives in a seamless living and learning environment that leverages advanced networking technologies and international programming to extend her university experience to a global perspective. In a given day, Alyssa’s waking moments are anything but routine …

Alyssa wakes up to the alarm on her cell phone.

She checks for missed e-mails, texts or Facebook alerts overnight. Facebook reminds her that today is her sister’s birthday — she is studying abroad in Sri Lanka.

After checking the weather forecast and breakfast menu online, she scans CTools to see if there have been any new contributions to class discussion and when class is going to meet.

On her way down to the North Quad dining center for a grab-and-go breakfast, she notices on the display screen in the elevator lobby: news streams from China, hall elections, study groups, and the multicultural council president announcing a program tonight on Near East cultural dynamics. A portion of the screen is dedicated to a Twitter feed about a gallery exhibition of student art in the Residential Opportunity Space.

Heading to the main lobby she stops to check out the Magic Bus schedule and sees that she can catch a bus to North Campus in order to meet fellow students for group work at the Duderstadt Center. Again, she sees the promotion for tonight’s program on Near East cultural dynamics and while on the bus to the “Dude,” she logs on to the North Quad activities page to learn more about the speaker from the Pakistani embassy.

Later returning to Central Campus on the bus, she uses her cell phone to check out Housing’s Web page to see the lunch menu at North Quad, really likes the Halal gyro and makes that her objective when she gets out of class in the TV studio at 1:30 p.m.

Her bus drops her near North Quad on time, so she stops by the Media Gateway to submit the homework for her last class of the day.

In class she is assigned to a group project to develop a cooking show for the residents. She makes a mental note to discuss this with her mother.

1:45 p.m. — good fortune — she enjoys a gyro in the dining hall with one of her roommates, who is enrolled in the Engineering Global Leadership program. Alyssa contributes a couple of favorable comments to the community website, closes her cell phone and spends the rest of lunch talking with her roommate about Michigan hockey.

Oh yikes, it is 2:30 p.m., she hurries to the Media Gateway just in time to receive the video call from her sister in Sri Lanka. She is pleased to hear her reports of study abroad and wishes her a happy birthday.

Fortunately her next class is right next to the Media Gateway and she makes it in plenty of time. While waiting for the professor to arrive, she sits next to a hallmate and follows up on a discussion from the night before about running for office in the residence hall council. Alyssa’s friend is intrigued by the United Nations model for the government and announces that she will attend the informational session this evening to learn how to run for office.

After class the two resume their discussion, and Alyssa declines the invitation to go to the meeting in favor of attending the Near East program. Heading to the residential Community Learning Center, Alyssa meets a couple of her project group members and they can start to plan out their ideas for the proposed cooking show. Using the Copy Cam, they share images of their whiteboard notes with other members of the group who are at the undergraduate library.

6:20 p.m., time for dinner. Alyssa and her friends head to the dining center. Afterwards they sit in a nearby classroom with a display monitor watching an interview with Khaled Hosseini discussing events in her life that inspired the creation of “The Kite Runner.” Later in the week, the film will be screened in the 10th floor residential lounge.

Later that evening, the Near East program in the multicultural lounge/classroom is well attended, and very informative. The program also is streamed to several monitors in lounges throughout the North Quad complex. The question-answer period with the presenter — a tutor with the Language Resource Center — becomes a lively discussion about global commerce. A reception sponsored by the Global Scholars residential program follows in the Residential Opportunity Space.

Alyssa pokes her head inside the recreational loft on the third floor of the residential tower. A couple of friends are playing an interactive game of Mario Kart with students in Germany.

At the end of the evening, having read a few passages from one of her textbooks, Alyssa watches last week’s episode of “The Big Bang Theory” online, posts a homework assignment on CTools, takes one last look at e-mails, adds a comment to the wall of a friend’s Facebook page, and closes her eyes … Oh man, too late to call mom about the cooking show … first thing tomorrow …