Last semester, over 600 female students were surveyed about their opinions on living in an all-female housing facility, and the results were quite revealing. According to 66.4 percent of the women surveyed, it would be very unlikely that they would choose to live in an all-female residence hall. It was clear there needed to be a change.
Elizabethtown College has decided to move the all-female housing facility from Schlosser Residence Hall to Founders Hall C wing. This takes the number of students living in an all-female residence hall from 226 to approximately 78. Darlene Sommers, the coordinator of housing operations in the Office of Residence Life, is very positive about the situation: “I am very excited. I think the change will be beneficial to all of the students,” Sommers said.
This change may seem as if it only affects females, but Sommers insists it is better for everyone. “It really gives more spaces to choose from when students start going through housing selection,” Sommers said. “But I really think the sophomore girls will feel it the most because they won’t be left to pick last and have to choose an all-girls facility.”
Previously, when students selected housing, many females had no choice but to live in Schlosser Residence Hall and, for the students who lived there as first-years, many felt the situation was not fair. Because of this, Schlosser has gained a negative stigma that Sommers plans to eliminate. “I don’t like it when students get upset because they are in Schlosser again. I think it takes the negative feeling about Schlosser away,” Sommers said.
Founders C was proposed as the facility to replace Schlosser, and it seems like the perfect fit. Sommers said, “Next semester is really a test run, but I am very curious to see the reaction of the students next year.” Founders C fits the dynamic for a successful all-female residence hall. The dorm is more secluded and is better for those who like to or have to live with only females. It was very important to the College to maintain an all-female dormitory for the sake of the students. Sommers said that some students cannot be in a residence hall with males for different reasons. For example, some students can’t because of religious beliefs or morals.
Schlosser will now be split with the west wing housing male students, while the east wing will be females only. Many first-years will now be in Schlosser Residence Hall because it is coed. The honors housing will be moved from the second floor of Myer Residence Hall to Schlosser Residence Hall. Sommers described how these moves allow for better housing choices throughout the campus: “With the majority of the freshmen living in Schlosser and the honors housing being moved, I think it opens up more premium housing on campus. Myer will now be much more accessible to the sophomores choosing where to live.”
Students on campus agree that the move is better for everyone. Sophomore Jeff Royer thinks it will benefit the first-years the most. “I think it will be nice for incoming freshmen to live in a dorm where the majority of the students are also freshmen,” he explained. “I think it will make it easier for the students to make friends and feel comfortable with their fellow classmates. The new set up allows for all of the classes at Etown to be closer together.”
Sommers ended with positive remarks about next year, saying, “I don’t foresee any problems, and I think it will be great for the campus, the students and everyone involved.”