Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Dianne Timm

Thesis Committee Member

Louis V. Hencken

Thesis Committee Member

Jody E. Stone


The study examined perceptions of the residence halls, how those changed over the course of the first semester living in a residence hall, and how the residence halls were meeting the needs of the students. The experimenter utilized the past literature of Arthur Chickering and Linda Reisser (1993) regarding vectors of student development and the work on human needs written by Abraham Maslow (1943). Nine undergraduate students were randomly chosen during orientation days and interviewed about their perceptions of campus. Two follow-up interviews occurred to examine how perceptions changed over the course of a semester. Participants initially expressed concern with issues regarding physiological, safety, and love/belonging needs. The love/belonging needs became the main concern in both the second and third interviews. Participant satisfaction in the residence halls was strongly tied to the relationships formed pre-enrollment with other students and staff members. Research indicated the potential importance of student affairs professionals helping to create avenues of pre-enrollment relationships in improving overall satisfaction.