First-Year Experience

Four first-year students celebrating during orientation
Office of Residence Life

The First-Year Experience residential communities play an integral part in first-year students' personal and academic transformation. The Residence Life team 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, hosting fun programs and events.

Each year, we welcome a first-year class of about 1350 students and we work to foster connections across the entire class. Each student, however, will belong to one of our five smaller residential communities: Cedar, Clarke, Juniper, Magnolia, or Mistletoe.

Regardless of which residential community a student calls home, they can expect a similar residential experience. The Residence Life team works to offer resources and programs that meet the unique interests and needs of students in each community, partnering with students to shape their residential experience.

Community Buildings: Pierce House, Storrs House

Community Size: Cedar is home to 224 students, supported by a team of one Residential Community Director, one Assistant Residential Community 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 a 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.

Crest Meaning: The Cedar crest features a tree that signifies the growth a student experiences during their time at Case Western Reserve University.

To see what is happening in Cedar, visit the CampusGroups page.

Community Buildings: Clarke Tower

Community Size: Clarke is home to 318 students, supported by a staff of one Residential Community Director, one Assistant Residential Community Director, and ten Resident Assistants.

Physical Space & Amenities: First-year students occupy the first six 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. The 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.

Crest Meaning: The Clarke crest features a cornucopia to represent the diversity of students that reside in the community. From first year students, to second year students, and all the interests, passions and background they all hold, Clarke aims to be space that is welcoming to all walks of life. 

To see what is happening in Clarke, visit the CampusGroups page.

Community Buildings: Smith House, Taft House, Taplin House

Community Size: Juniper is home to 327 students, supported by a staff of one Residential Community Director, one Assistant Residential Community 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. Each building has a first floor lounge with a 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.

Crest Meaning: 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.

To see what is happening in Juniper, visit the CampusGroups page.

Community Buildings: Cutler House, Hitchcock House

Community Size: Magnolia is home to 230 students, supported by a staff of one Residential Community Director, one Assistant Residential Community Director, and six Resident Assistants.

Physical Space & Amenities: Cutler and Hitchcock 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 a 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.

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

Crest Meaning: The Magnolia crest 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.

To see what is happening in Magnolia, visit the CampusGroups page.

Community Buildings: Norton House, Raymond House, Sherman House, Tyler House

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

Crest Meaning: The Mistletoe crest features the Mary Chisholm Painter Arch, often referred to as the Mather Arch, linking the residential community 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.

To see what is happening in Mistletoe, visit the CampusGroups page.