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Vols @ Home: Life in the Penthouse

img_4393Presidential Courtyard: a staple to the University of Tennessee and home to over 2,000 students. With almost fifty years of history, these buildings hold memories for generations of Volunteer families. Students are often drawn to live in the same places as their siblings or parents may have at one time. Resident Jennie Langford explained, “I wanted to live in South Carrick because my sister lived here previously, and my brother in North Carrick, and they both had positive experiences here in Presidential Court.” With the convenience of the café, and being in close proximity to other residence halls, there is no question that Presidential Court is a hot spot on campus.

Presidential Court is a popular place to be, and our residence halls get their popularity from the communities they promote. Our resident assistants plan numerous programs for residents that encourage them to get to know their neighbors for the first six weeks following move-in. As part of this, several floors of South Carrick hosted an event called Carrick Cribs. I had the opportunity to attend the 12th floor, or “Penthouse”, edition of Carrick Cribs.  Through Carrick Cribs, residents had the opportunity to open up their doors, and showoff their style through their décor. img_4355The penthouse girls gathered in the elevator lobby for snacks and icebreakers. The girls wandered from room to room around their floor and voted for the best rooms to add in a little friendly competition! The categories varied from Most Comfy-Cozy to So Fetch and To the Beat of Her Own Drum. Every room we visited was unique; it was so hard to just pick a few! As the program continued, I watched the girls build each other up with endless compliments. Ballots and drumrolls may have revealed the official winners, but the community-building was priceless. Lauren Bachman, a first year-student and 12th floor resident of South Carrick, was voted to have the most “comfy-cozy” room. When asked about her few weeks spent on Rocky Top, she stated, “At first, I was nervous because South Carrick doesn’t have community bathrooms. I was afraid we would be shut off, but floor gatherings, like Carrick Cribs, have been awesome opportunities to get to know my neighbors. Everyone on our floor is super sweet, and I love it here!” Carrick Cribs was a HUGE success for the penthouse, and South Carrick in general.

img_4349Marlee Houk, a third year resident assistant, has made the program Carrick Cribs an annual event on her floor. Marlee explained, “The purpose of Carrick Cribs is to create an event where the girls can get to know each other in a laidback setting. When you have a chance to show off your room, it makes you feel at home.”  Marlee continued, “When you have the opportunity to welcome your neighbors into your space, suddenly your room transforms into your home away from home. I want my residents to be proud of their rooms, and to welcome others in.” As a first-year student, I had the opportunity to have Marlee as my resident assistant in South Carrick as well. Almost my entire floor participated, and I got to know so many new floor-mates that night. I still have the pictures from that night, and I’m lucky enough to be able to look back on that event and laugh. While the evening was light-hearted, I’m certain that these residents will be able to look back and remember programs like Carrick Cribs as part of their University Housing experience.

Are you interested in hearing more about West Campus residence halls, or maybe you’re looking to attending an awesome program like Carrick Cribs? Check out our upcoming event West Area Block Party on September 19th, 2016 from 6:00pm-8:00pm right in Presidential Courtyard!

About Me

My name is Whitney Brothers, and I am currently a sophomore studying Public Relations and Business Administration at the University of Tennessee. I work with the Vols @ Home program, which helps incoming and current students find their place on campus through University Housing. I am also active in the community by interning with Alliance for Better Nonprofits, and teaching swim lessons at JumpStart Health and Fitness. As a student, my goals surround becoming involved with the Knoxville community on and off campus while also building a network of professional individuals.