First Year Experience

The First Year Experience residential colleges play an integral part in a first-year student's personal and academic transformation. The Residence Life staff strives to help each student establish a foundation for future success at Case Western Reserve University. We do this by supporting their transition into their new communities and connecting them to the university through academic support, campus activities, and, of course, some fun programs and events.

Each year, we welcome a first-year class of about 1250 students and we foster connection across the entire class. Each student, however, will belong to a smaller community within one of our four residential colleges: Cedar, Juniper, Magnolia, and Mistletoe.
Regardless of which residential college a student calls home, they can expect a similar residential experience. The Residence Life staff offers students support and guidance as well as programs and other opportunities to explore campus and Cleveland. The staff works to offer resources and programs that meet the students' unique interests and needs, and they hope to partner with students to shape their residential experience.

Distinct attributes for each residential college are highlighted below. To view a virtual tour of the residential colleges, please visit the University Housing website.


The Cedar Residential College Crest
CEDAR Residential College

Pierce House, Storrs House

Community Size: Cedar is home to 224 students, supported by a staff of one Residential College Director, one Assistant Residential College Director, and six Resident Assistants.

Physical Space & Amenities: The two Cedar buildings are considered quad-style living because there are four clusters of single and double rooms on each floor.

Each building has a first floor lounge with TV, gaming table (pool or ping pong), piano, and full kitchen; lounges on each floor; a laundry room with free services and online monitoring system; indoor bike storage; and vending machines.

Historical Theme: Historically, Cedar had a strong arts flavor, as embodied through several of Cedar's long-standing programs. Neither experience nor expertise in any art was required; only a willingness to learn and explore the arts as a way to make friends, explore new skills, and learn about oneself and the world. The Cedar crest features a tree that signifies the growth a student experiences during their time at Case Western Reserve University.

Program Highlights:

  • Cedarween
  • Cedar Coffeehouse

The Juniper Residential College Crest
Juniper RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE

Smith House, Taft House, Taplin House

Community Size: Juniper is home to 327 students, supported by a staff of one Residential College Director, one Assistant Residential College Director, and nine Resident Assistants.

Physical Space & Amenities: The three Juniper buildings are considered corridor-style living because there is one, continuous corridor connecting the student rooms on each floor. Both single and double rooms are available on each floor.

Amenities include first floor lounges with TV, gaming tables (pool, ping pong, and/or foosball), pianos, and full kitchens; lounges on each floor with kitchenette; laundry rooms with free services and online monitoring system; indoor bike storage; and vending machines.

Historical Theme: Historically, Juniper focused on learning through multiculturalism. The Juniper crest features an inkwell and pen to signify the education and emerging knowledge base central to a student's experience at Case Western Reserve University.

Program Highlights:

  • JuniChant
  • Booniper
  • JuniFam Fridays

The Magnolia Residential College Crest
MAGNOLIA RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE

Clarke Tower, Cutler House, Hitchcock House

Community Size: Magnolia is home to 312 students, supported by a staff of one Residential College Director, one Assistant Residential College Director, and nine Resident Assistants.

Physical Space & Amenities: First-year students occupy the first three residential floors of Clarke Tower; this building is considered suite-style because eight students in a combination of single and double rooms share a bathroom and kitchenette. Cutler and Hitchcock are considered quad-style living because there are four clusters of single and double rooms on each floor.

The Gender Inclusive Housing option for first-year students is available in Cutler. For more information on this community, visit the University Housing website.

Amenities include first floor lounges with TV, gaming tables (pool, ping pong, and/or foosball), pianos, and full kitchens; lounges on each floor; access to kitchenettes; laundry rooms with free services and online monitoring system; indoor bike storage; and vending machines.

Historical Theme: Historically, Magnolia Residential College was home to students interested in a residential experience focused on sustainability. The crest, which is grounded in the original theme of sustainability, features a globe that signifies the interrelated systems of our world and our obligation to be stewards of sustainability for ourselves and generations to come.

Program Highlights:

  • Screen on the Green
  • Magnolia Mornings

The Mistletoe Residential College Crest
MISTLETOE RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE

Norton House, Raymond House, Sherman House, Tyler House

Community Size: Mistletoe is home to 475 students, supported by a staff of one Residential College Director, one Assistant Residential College Director, and twelve Resident Assistants.

Physical Space & Amenities: The four Mistletoe buildings are considered corridor-style living because there is one, continuous corridor connecting the student rooms on each floor. Both single and double rooms are available on each floor.

Each building has a first floor lounge with a TV, gaming table (pool, ping pong, or foosball), piano, and full kitchen; study rooms on each floor; lounges on each floor with kitchenette; laundry rooms with free services and online monitoring system; indoor bike storage; and vending machines.

Historical Theme: Historically, Mistletoe provided its residents' opportunities to learn about themselves and their communities through service and leadership. The Mistletoe crest features the Mary Chisholm Painter Arch, often referred to as the Mather Arch, linking the residential college to the history of the university through the spirit of the Flora Stone Mather College for Women that blazed educational paths for women in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Program Highlights:

  • Opening Ceremony
  • Saturday of Service