A large incoming freshman class expected to top 1,000 students has forced the Office of Residence Life to make drastic changes in rooms assignments and reshuffle student among dorms.
Curtis Smith, interim director of Residence Life, said this class of incoming freshmen, estimated to be about 1,030 students, is among the top five largest classes to enter ACU.
“With this class we had, we were presented with this challenge like, ‘How are we going to fit everyone in?'” Smith said.
To accommodate the freshmen class, many sophomores were moved to other dorms. However, Smith said Residence Life tried their best to keep residents with their roommates.
“We want them to be happy where they are living, and that’s the biggest part of it,” Smith he said.
Barret Hall, which has traditionally been a co-ed dorm, now houses only women. The men scheduled to live in Barret were split between Smith and Adams Halls and Edwards Hall.
The first floor of Sikes Hall is all freshmen women, with sophomore women moved to the second and third floors.
Dani Glenn, sophomore speech pathology major from Rowlett and freshmen R.A. resident assistant in Sikes, said the staff and residents were already aware that one wing of the first floor would be reserved for freshmen. Only one wing of sophomores in Sikes was sent to live in Barret to make room for the freshmen.
Glenn, who was a freshmen living on the third floor of Sikes last year, said the freshmen will be better able to connect with the ACU campus from the first floor.
“I know that as a freshman in Sikes being on the third floor made us feel more secluded,” Glenn said.
Kari McQueen, senior elementary education major from Georgetown and sophomore resident assistant in Sikes, said she thinks the new housing will benefit the sophomores as well.
“I think it’ll be better for them even,” McQueen said. “They really do have the top floors to themselves.”
However, some of the men moved out of Barret weren’t as thrilled when they heard the news in June.
Zane Witcher, sophomore biblical text major from Georgetown, had already been told he would be living in Barret Hall this year. In the middle of the summer he was notified that he would be living in Edwards Hall instead.
“I was disappointed because we had set up intentional community with a group of guys,” Witcher said.
In Barret, each pod contains a common room surrounded by four dorm rooms making it easier for the intentional communities to stay connected.
“If we needed to talk to each other, even if it’s for like five minutes that night, we take two steps and we’re there,” Witcher said.
He worries that living in Edwards, even though he is with the same roommate and close to his intentional community, he will not see his podmates as much as he would sharing a common room with them in Barret.
“Edwards is more complicated,” Witcher said. “The only time you see each other is either when you’re moving in and out.”
He and his podmates are trying to make it work, and as time passes Witcher sees the room switch up as a blessing in disguise.
“Even though I’m disappointed,” Witcher said, “I’d still say I’m really glad that ACU is being blessed by increasing student population.”