Freshman Olivia Mubarek left what she calls her “little bubble” in Newtown, Connecticut,  to move to East Neighborhood and be part of the first-ever group of students to move into these new residence halls. 

Mubarek, along with 348 other freshman, orientation leaders, residence life workers, students, parents and staff bustled through East College Avenue and into the three buildings of this neighborhood. East is composed of three buildings and a clubhouse. 

These dorms are focused on civic engagement and social innovation. The layout of the floors of these buildings are called “wings” where all the halls meet at an intersection point in the center which also serves as a common room. Besides this center point, each hall also features a kitchen with another common room. 

Dana Pursley, associate director of the center for leadership, says she hopes the East residents are able to take advantage of their time in the neighborhood. “It is up to the students to make it their own and in how they want to engage in their community and build it.”