Students' Perceptions of the Residence Hall Living Environment at Kuwait University

Article excerpt

The purpose of this study is to explore students' perceptions of the residence hall living environment at Kuwait University. The researcher developed a questionnaire for this purpose that included 36 items. The sample of the study consisted of 191 residential students, of whom 98 were male and 93 were female. The research findings indicated that :

1. The students were satisfied with most aspects of the residence halls' living environment such as entertainment trips, hall safety rewarding graduate and outstanding students, cleaning maintenance, and regulations.

2. Statistically significant differences were found between male and female residential students' responses.

3. No statistically significant differences were found among the responses according to residents respective of students' nationalities.

4. Statistically significant differences were found among the responses according to number of years of residence in the residence hall.

Introduction

The most important service offered in most higher education institutions is residential halls because of their importance in providing students with accommodations, specifically students who do not live with their families and international students. Twale and Damron (1991) conducted a study to assess students' satisfaction with residence hall facilities, services, programs, staff, and communications at Auburn University in Alabama. The researchers designed a questionnaire that consisted of 28 items. The questionnaires were distributed to 349 randomly selected students. The results indicated several factors that contributed to students' satisfaction with residence halls such as safety, cleanliness, and residence programs and activities. In addition, giving students the opportunity to make decisions in the hall played an important role in student satisfaction. Another study was conducted to evaluate student satisfaction with residence hall life at Indiana University by Bradley et al. (1986) Questionnaires were distributed to 950 students to evaluate their satisfaction with residence hall programs, staff, order, student government, and food services. The result showed that students were highly satisfied with residence hall programs, activities, staff study conditions, student government, and residence hall publications. Both studies indicated that students were satisfied with most of the residence hall services. Each study helped the administrators to understand the factors that increased student satisfaction with residence hall life.

Johnson-Durgans (1994) presented in her study of the perceptions of racial climates in the residence hall that there was statistical significance between African American and European American residents' perceptions concerning the hall environment, hall staff, hall peers, and hall government. The study suggested that the hall staff must be attentive toward verbal and nonverbal communication with African American residents. The study also suggested the importance of involving African American students with hall staff and hall government to increase the positive feelings of the racial climate between the various ethnicities of the hall residents. It is clear from this study that the residence hall staff plays an important role in creating a healthy racial climate among residents of different races.

Saidla and Grant (1993) conducted a study to investigate the interpersonal relationships among college roommates. The study indicated that American roommate pairs had higher measures of roommate understanding, trust, and intimacy compared with non-American roommate pairs. But there were no significant differences between these two groups on the measure of roommates' rapport. In addition, the study indicated that the women had higher measures of understanding, trust, and intimacy than men. But there were no significant differences between them on the roommate report measure. Lovejoy, Perkins, and Collins (1995) used a social satisfaction questionnaire to predict the factors that may cause breakups among college roommates. …