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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Bigger isn’t always better: Regan Hall’s tight-knit community

VENOOS MOSHAYEDI / AGGIE

Life in Segundo residence halls

Back in September, residents of Regan Hall gathered in the courtyard for an ice cream social to kick off the school year. Marina Navarro, a fourth-year art history major and Resident Assistant, took advantage of Regan’s yard to plan a fun event for incoming students to hang out.

“When I have to do socials it’s just the building social and I can have it out here [in the courtyard],” Navarro said. “We have, neighborhoods, as we call them […] having little socials [together].”  

Built in 1965, Regan Hall consists of seven buildings: Campo, Rienda, Nova, Paloma, Indio, Talara and Sereno. It became the campus’ first co-ed residence hall in 1969.

Named after two past members of the UC Davis faculty, Regan Hall is a collection of student housing buildings located in Segundo and has been a temporary ‘home’ for generations of UC Davis students. Michael Regan was a professor within the College of Agriculture from 1922 to 1951 and Susan Regan became the first female faculty member at UC Davis in 1922.  

The buildings of Regan Hall house a total of 460 students throughout the seven halls. Situated in the North end of campus, Suzie Khishen, a first-year political science major, finds the location ideal.

Well, I really like the location,” Khishen said. “I think I would take location over […] anything else because it’s so convenient, but it’s […] definitely not as nice as the other dorms like I’ve seen.

According to Mika Bekkerman, a first-year sociology major, these buildings are not usually students’ first choice since they are some of the oldest student housing buildings on campus.

“I know I was kind of upset about [my dorm assignment] at first, just because like other people had newer dorms, but I’m actually really glad I live here,” Bekkerman said. “There’s less people here, [and there are] closer communities.”

Navarro has experience in other other halls in Segundo and Tercero and has found that the accessibility of Regan Hall is its biggest issue.

“The part that I don’t like about [Regan Hall] is that there’s no elevators,” Navarro said. “If you’re disabled you really don’t have a choice on whether you can go to the second floor or not. If you [live] on the second floor and have a family member or friend who is disabled, you’re kind of forcing them to not be able to visit unfortunately.”

Bekkerman has found that the lesser number of students in these older halls creates a close-knit community.

“Everyone here is super friendly,” Bekkerman said. “This feels more like a camp rather than a college dorm sometimes and […] I started paying less attention to [its] facilities.”

Narravo enjoys the collection of halls despite the smaller size of the buildings.

“I like being in Campo,” Navarro said. “I actually find the community a lot closer. I found that I’ve gotten along with this community a lot better than other communities because they are a whole building as opposed to split up between floors [like in other buildings]. It’s kind of hard to gain that sense of community [there], whereas […] here you’re actually getting everyone seeing each other.”

Each building has its own lounge where residents can study, socialize and get much closer to one another despite living on different floors.

“[The students] are using the same lounge [so] everyone kind of knows you or at least recognizes each other,” Navarro said. “In other buildings, […]  you can go a whole quarter and then you’re like, ‘wait, you live here?’ […] Regan does a good job of making it more like community […] as opposed to other buildings where it can be kind of divided by floor.”

Regan Hall is structured with facilities like laundry rooms and a main lounge that are shared by the entire complex. It also holds some of the campuses Living-Learning Communities, like the Native American Theme Program in Campo.

“People are always walking around, talking and hanging out,” Bekkerman said. “The lounge is always popping […] playing [games like] cards against humanity. It’s kind of like a camp sometimes, […] I don’t think I would have the same experience in another dorm.”

The smaller buildings have made residents more familiar with each other, according to Bekkerman.

“My favorite part [of living in Regan Hall] is [that] I’m pretty sure I know the names of most of the people on my floor,” Bekkerman said. “It’s a very small amount of people [and] you just get to know [them].”

Regan Hall provides a unique housing experience to the residents.

“There’s always someone to talk to, always something to do, always someone to say hi to, [and] everyone is so friendly,” Bekkerman said. “I’m really glad that I live here.”
Written by: Elizabeth Marin  —  features@theaggie.org

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