By Lori Bredemeyer, Managing Editor
Students living on campus next fall will have different halls to choose from depending on their classification and gender.
Morris Hall, currently housing sophomore women, will house sophomore and freshman men; McDonald Hall, a freshman men’s hall, will become a freshman women’s hall; and Barret Hall, which is still under construction, will house sophomore women.
Dr. Mimi Barnard, director of Residence Life Education and Housing, said Morris and McDonald have housed men and women at different times s
ince they were built, and switching the demographics of a hall is not uncommon.
She said she and other campus officials, met to discuss the enrollment projections for next year to decide how to use the residence halls.
“Our goal is to use the facilities and all our resources to their maximum benefit for the most students,” she said. “… We have all these meetings and talk about how many people we think we’re going to have, and it’s like putting a puzzle together.”
Dr. Tom Winter, associate provost, said the group had to consider the classification and gender of students who might attend the university next year and to decide how best to accommodate them.
“It’s logical, and it appears to make use of the residence halls that we have around campus in the most appropriate way, given the numbers of freshmen and sophomore men and women that we expect next year,” he said.
Another reason for the decision rested on the anticipated completion of Barret Hall. Winter said the contractors still expect to complete it by August; however, the university wants to have some flexibility in case construction falls behind, and making the hall changes gives them room to shift residents.
“We all know that there are risks in building in West Texas at this time of year,” he said. “There’s always an outside chance that what’s on schedule today would not be on schedule in July. … This gives us a little better hedge if something happens that puts the construction behind schedule.”
This was the first year McDonald was used as a living and learning community for Bible and business majors, and Barnard said the men living there will move to Morris as sophomores and serve as mentors to some of next year’s freshmen. Also, McDonald will become a freshman women’s living and learning community.
Freshmen can sign up for residence halls beginning March 15.