By Jonathan Smith, Managing Editor
McDonald Hall, which houses sophomore women, will become a living and learning community for freshman men in the colleges of Biblical Studies and Business Administration.
Dr. Mimi Barnard, director of Residence Life Education and Housing, said men enrolled in either the Bible or business University 100 courses will be invited to live in McDonald Hall next year. They also can bring the roommate they would have had in Mabee or McKinzie halls, regardless of major.
Because of the hall’s size, Barnard said she plans for students to have their own room.
Barnard said a reason for the new housing program is the learning that can occur in that environment.
“Think of the meaningful conversations that can happen late into the evening-conversations about the marketplace and Christian leadership and responsibility in a complex, fallen world,” Barnard said in an e-mail. “Research has shown that 70 percent of learning at a residential university such as ACU takes place outside the classroom-the residence hall is certainly a place where this can and should be true.”
Barnard said she will send a letter to students who qualify to live in McDonald Hall, inviting them to join the program. Those eligible to live there can choose to do so but are not required, Barnard said.
Using McDonald for freshman men should also alleviate the problem of overcrowding in the halls during the first few weeks of school, she said. In August, 32 freshmen were placed four to a room in Edwards Hall, typically a sophomore hall for men, until spaces opened for them in Mabee or McKinzie.
Even though sophomore women will be losing the spaces provided by McDonald to them, Barnard said the other three halls for sophomore women-Adams, Morris and Sikes-could have accommodated the women who lived in McDonald this year. She said she does not A similar housing program on a smaller scale began on campus last year. Students enrolled in Bible learning communities could choose to live in certain spaces reserved for them in Mabee or Gardner halls. Barnard said although only a few women opted for this, the spaces in Mabee filled up quickly and that those participating responded well to the concept.