||This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. (August 2013)|
Williamson Hall is an all-freshman residence hall at the University of New Hampshire. The building is named after Dean P. Williamson, an alumnus of the university who was president of the National Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. On June 10, 1972, the University of New Hampshire officially recognized Williamson as a notable alumnus and named their newest residence hall after him.
Williamson Hall has three main towers separated as "A Tower", "B Tower", and "C Tower". "A Tower" houses the majority of students and is an impressive ten stories tall, the highest building on the UNH campus. "B Tower" is home to the main study lounge on the ground floor and is four stories tall. "C Tower", the smallest of the three, also has four stories.
The outdoor shape of Williamson Hall and indoor contour to the rooms are reminiscent of 1970s architecture. Each double room offers a private feel to them, as the walls are skewed and offer an independent nook for residents to relax in a more private, less traditional dorm room. The outside of the building, composed of brick, has additional nooks and is described as being very aesthetically appealing. Up until 2008, Williamson had a sundeck located on the "B Tower" roof, but was closed due to improper care. Williamson has a sister dorm named Christensen Hall, which is virtually the same in architecture design, with the exception of it being reversed in all regards.
Each floor in Williamson is either all male or all female and generally consists of 25-30 residents. Almost all rooms are doubles with the occasional built-up triple (three people living is a room designed for two) and built-up lounges (people living in an area typically used for studying). When built-up triples and lounges occur (due to high university enrollment), these rooms are typically broken down first and usually done so by the end of first semester. These living conditions are not ideal but are also not as bad as they might sound. The university reduces the cost of housing significantly, and hall staff try their hardest to work with these students to get them in more comfortable locations as they open up in the dorm or around campus.
The rooms in Williamson have an "L" shape in which each resident claims their own "nook". Each room comes furnished with a bed frame, mattress, desk, dresser, towel rack, and mirror. Unlike Christensen (Williamson's sister dorm), Williamson has a kitchenette located on every floor. These are ideal for cooking small meals or boiling water and are meant to be a luxury for students. Each floor also has a community bathroom that typically has 3-4 showers and is cleaned daily by UNH Housekeeping. Despite its large size, Williamson Hall still maintains constant water pressure for all of its showers on all floors.
Each dorm room within Williamson has unique lighting fixtures. Unlike most other dorms on campus, there is no overhead lighting on the ceiling. Instead, Williamson has a stationary reading lamp attached to the wall above each bed frame, a light located above the mirror, and a light above the stationary desk. Each light can be turned on individually, but residents are encouraged by the UNH Office of Sustainability to power down when not needed.
Socializing, watching TV, listening to music, and studying are some of the many aspects that lounges offer to residents in Williamson. Williamson is home to 18 lounges, one located on each floor, and an additional two located in the basement and near the main lobby. All lounges have ethernet ports, and the two main lounges are Wi-Fi enabled for even greater convenience. Every lounge houses lounge furniture which consists of several study tables, couches, and chairs. Each lounge is cleaned daily by UNH Housekeeping.
Williamson is located in UNH's Area III (The Timbers) section of campus. Williamson is conveniently located near many of the academic buildings on campus but is a farther walking distance to the Whittemore Arena and Main Street. Philbrook, the Area III dining hall, is located right next to Williamson and is a very short walk away. Philbrook is open 7 days (7:30am - 11:00pm weekdays; 9:30am-7:00pm weekends) a week and is the only dining hall to offer late night dining on campus (7:30pm - 11:00pm) Sunday thru Thursday. 
Williamson is conveniently located near several university bus stops which provide students an alternative to walking an extended distance. In addition, university buses also shuttle students to and from retail locations, malls, movie theaters, and the historic Portsmouth downtown. On weekend nights UNH offers the Safe Rides Program which enables students to call a university bus to pick him or her up if he or she is stranded at a distant location and needs assistance getting back to Williamson Hall. All bus rides are free for students who own a valid UNH ID card.
Williamson Hall offers many opportunities for residents who are interested in recreation. Located in the basement, there is a recreation lounge which offers residents the opportunity to play foosball and ping-pong. In addition, aerobic classes are offered in the basement recreation lounge. Outside Williamson there is a basketball court, as well as a regulation-size volleyball court for residents to use at their own convenience. Williamson's scenic location also gives residents the chance to freely play Frisbee, baseball, and Wiffle Ball without obstruction.
In the main lounge on the first floor there is a fireplace which gives residents the chance to socialize in a less traditional dorm setting in front of a fire (hall staff member must be present). There is also a quiet study lounge located on the first floor which provides residents the opportunity to study in privacy as needed.
In the main lobby Williamson has a First Year Integration Desk, known by residents as the "FYI Desk", that is run 7 days a week from 7-10 pm by an RA. Here, residents may check out sports equipment (basketballs, volleyballs, wiffleballs), cooking utensils (pots, pans, bowls) to use in the kitchen, a vacuum cleaner, or one of a large amount of board games. The resident only needs to give the RA their ID to ensure the return of any rented materials. In addition, the FYI desk serves as a way for residents to have a conversation with an RA or ask any questions they might have. RAs are trained and are well informed of the many resources located on the UNH campus and are more than happy to help with any questions.
Williamson Hall is home to roughly 500 students, but the number fluctuates between 477 and 520. The majority of students live in doubles, but there are also several singles, a few triples, and depending on university enrollment, several built-up-lounges. Behind Stoke Hall and the Upper Quad, Williamson and Christensen house the most residents out of the 23 residence halls on the University of New Hampshire campus. For every 26 to 40 residents in Williamson, there is one Resident Assistant.
Resident Assistants and staff
Williamson is home to 16 RAs, 1 Senior RA, 1 Hall Director, 4 housekeepers, and 1 administrative assistant. RAs within Williamson provide residents with a social each week for each floor, one weekend social a week for the entire building,and the running of the FYI Help Desk in the main lobby. In addition, RAs help their residents with FAQs, roommate issues, support, etc. Williamson has the largest number or RAs of any residence hall on the University of New Hampshire campus.
- Hall Director
A Hall Director is a full-time, live in professional that is responsible for the development and operations within a residence hall. The Williamson Hall Director supervises the Senior Resident Assistant and 16 RAs. He/She is also meant to be an excellent resource for students with their numerous years of experience in student affairs. Hall directors have a Masters level or higher of education and have extensive training in counseling, conflict mediation, and have excellent interpersonal skills.
- Senior Resident Assistant
A Senior Resident Assistant at UNH is an undergraduate (usually a senior) student leader who has typically had one or two years experience as an RA. The SRA is responsible for helping the Hall Director in supervision of the staff, advise the hall government, and be a resource for students.
- Resident Assistant
A Resident Assistant is a student leader (sophomore or higher) who lives on the floor with the residents. RAs are responsible for interacting with and providing a safe and welcoming environment for residents. RAs are trained in UNH resources, conflict mediation, policies, and time management. Typically, when a resident needs information, has a question, or needs help, the RA is the first person they contact.
University of New Hampshire's Department of Residential Life takes safety of its residents very seriously. Rounds are done throughout the building by Resident Assistants every night to ensure the safety of the students living in Williamson Hall. Resident Assistants are responsible for enforcing university policies within the dorm and work closely with the UNH emergency services personnel. UNH has a full-service police department, fire department, and ambulance services located on campus and are dedicated to making sure the UNH community is safe.
Outside of the dorm, UNH has blue light emergency poles located all around campus and are always close no matter what part of campus a student is located. In the case of an emergency, a student can push the button on the pole and will be connected to an emergency dispatcher. A UNH police officer can be at any blue light station on campus in under two minutes.
On an average year Williamson has 79 educational programs and 280 social programs. These programs are a great way to connect with other students and learn about important issues going on around campus. Monthly coffeehouses were a big hit this year and brought almost 100 students down to the main lounge on a weekend night. Other programs include intramurals, pumpkin carving, and the ever popular floor wars! Some of the educational programs touched on making the most of your academics, Safe Zones, study abroad, a Post Secret program, clothing and food drives, and a “What would you do?” program.
Once a semester, UNH Dining offers Williamson Hall the opportunity to have either a dorm wide barbecue or a dorm wide ice cream social. Usually the Williamson Hall student government decides on which one is chosen. All food is free during these socials, and UNH dining takes into account vegetarian menu items as well. On most occasions, the social is held outdoors in the quad area of Williamson Hall and Christensen Hall.
Move-In morning can be stressful for both students and parents, but neither should worry. UNH has perfected their move-in process and freshman move-in days before sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Over 1,000 freshman move in on Evergreen Dr, the dead-end street Williamson, Christensen, and Hubbard are located. UNH administration, UNH police, and hall staff work very closely and prepare days in advance. This allows the move-in process to flow smoothly and many parents have complimented on how quick and painless the process actually is.