University Housing at Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Allen Hall/Unit One: A creative community in a small college environment

Q. What's it like in Allen Hall?
A. In many respects, life in Allen Hall is similar to that of other halls: floors have Resident Advisors to help sort out problems, a trained Resident Director manages the hall, student groups plan social/ educational activities. Students form intramural sport teams, hold dances and other social events, organize study groups, and congregate in lounges and classrooms to talk, meet, and study.

Q. What distinguishes life in Allen Hall?
A. The existence of Unit One offers a unique blend of non-credit programs and credit courses that exist nowhere else. The activities which occur as a result of these features make Allen Hall a place where "something" is always happening. Allen Hall students characterize the hall's environment as being particularly friendly, intellectually stimulating, and accepting of individual differences. They also find Allen to be a very community-oriented hall where students form many strong, long-lasting friendships.

Q. Once I am in Allen Hall, do I have an obligation to participate in Unit One?
A. Unit One is a resource. Allen Hall students are given the opportunity to make use of this resource, and most do. However, we do not require any specific level of participation.

Q. Is Unit One designed to help me get better grades?
A. No. Although Unit One is an academic program, the intent is to provide an intense, intellectually-oriented environment. This does not necessarily result in better grades, but it frequently does result in a more fulfilling educational experience. Residents' ACT scores and University grades tend to mirror the scores and grades of students in the entire Residence Hall system.

Q. What kinds of students live in Allen Hall?
A. The residents of Allen Hall are primarily freshmen and sophomores (about 90%). They tend to have home-town distributions and college affiliations that reflect University enrollment patterns. If anything distinguishes Allen Hall residents, it is their degree of curiosity, their interest in influencing their educational environment, and their participation in extracurricular activities.

Q. Do students like living in Unit One/Allen Hall?
A. We asked the following question to 100 randomly selected Allen Hall students: "Knowing what you know now, if you were an incoming freshman, would you choose to live in Allen Hall?" Ninety-six percent said "Yes."

Q. Why would someone not want to live in Allen Hall?
A. Some people don't want their academic lives to follow them into their living spaces; some want to be close to the campus recreation facilities at the ARC (Allen is pretty far from the ARC, although Freer pool and CRCE are close); some do not like to be surrounded by programs that emphasize the social, political, and personal development themes that are prominent at Unit One; some plan to join sororities and fraternities and are less likely to take advantage of the activities within Allen Hall.

Q. Where can I find out more about other University Residence Hall Learning Communities?
A. We also encourage you to visit the Housing Division web site or contact Housing  by email at or call (217) 333-7111 for details. Information about the other Living-Learning Communities at UIUC is outlined here.

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