July 24, 2019

Co-Ed Housing Creates Stronger Community

posted on: Thursday May 2, 2019

The laundry room in Suites Hall is used daily by both male and female students. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hall ’21.

 

by Julia McCoy ’22

Opinion Staff

 

Regardless of what school you attend, freshman year is full of adjustments. Here at Providence College, those adjustments do not end after the first year.

Students in their second year are finally able to live in the same building as their peers of the opposite gender. For the first time, they will be walking by people in the hallways and sharing a laundry room with people they had not encountered before in this setting.

At first glance, this obviously appears to be a liberating and fun experience; but just how much adjustment does it take?

For some, the laundry room seems to be one of the biggest concerns. When asked about this subject, Abigail Pruchnicki ’22 said, “It’s definitely going to be an adjustment. And I’m sure, too, that it will always be busy in the laundry room.”

Socializing and being able to have easier access to your friends’ rooms is, to most, a major improvement. Instead of having to wait for them to open the door to a building for you or sign you in at night, students are now able to walk down the hall and see their friends.

The most notable features of both Suites Hall and Aquinas Hall are the magnificent study halls that the two buildings boast. These areas provide great opportunities for group studying with your peers and new neighbors.

These study rooms create a sense of community that is lost on freshmen. Of course, students have the opportunity to go to the library or a collaborative study room, but nothing tops the convenience of being able to stay in the same building that you live in to work on a project.

Within the last year especially, freshman students were limited on their shared study spaces, even within their own all-girls or all-boys dorms. For example, McVinney Hall lost its study rooms in favor of four extra dorm rooms to accomodate for overenrollment.

Some students have noticed a lack of community in their first-year dorms this year, and it appears that the lack of communal areas may have contributed to this fall. “It would be nice to have a big space to hang out with friends. I’m looking forward to that next year,” said Pruchnicki.

The College’s admissions levels seem to be always on the rise, and for this reason it is not unreasonable to believe that new dorm buildings could be a possibility if the trend continues in the coming years.

That would, of course, raise the question of how the building will be set up. Would the half-and-half style of Aquinas prevail, or would the school opt for more traditional single gender dorms?

Most likely, this decision would depend entirely upon the gender distribution of the students entering.

Regardless, being able to foster and cultivate relationships with the peers that you share a dorm with is integral to any college experience. It is important to feel comfortable and at home in your building.

As rising sophomores, it is important to consider this adjustment when we move in next semester.

Without a doubt, the first hurdle has been jumped. Nothing can beat the awkwardness and anxiety that freshman year contains. Whatever we go through now, it will be as a community.

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