Coed suites to be added to Stevenson
March 19, 2017
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Eastern will add mixed-gender suites to Stevenson Hall in the fall semester, allowing male and female students to live together for the first time in a single suite.
There are currently 54 suites in Stevenson Hall.
Mark Hudson, director of Housing and Dining, said all of them can potentially be converted into a mixed-gender living space.
Students have to arrange for a coed suite as a group. These suites cannot be randomly assigned.
These new suites will not be the only mixed-gender housing available on campus. Both Ford and McKinney Halls already offer coed floors. These halls allow both men and women to live on the same floors but in separate rooms.
Just like in Ford and McKinney Halls, individual bedrooms within the suites at Stevenson Hall will only house one gender.
“Stevenson is very similar to the way Ford and McKinney are set up, except that it is encapsulated in a suite,” Hudson said.
The idea for mix-gender suites in Stevenson had been floating around for a while, but was officially brought to Hudson’s attention this year.
With the remodeling of McKinney Hall in 2012 and Ford Hall in 2014 to make them have coed floors, Hudson said the timing of putting these types of rooms in Stevenson Hall was right.
“This just seemed like a logical option if students have interest in it,” Hudson said.
Frank Monier, a resident assistant in McKinney Hall, said it is important for students to have these options.
“After all, some men get along better with women and some women get along better with men,” he said.
Whenever a university allows men and women to room together there might be some controversy, but Hudson said he does not think that there should be any in this case.
“Stevenson is a building that’s restricted to juniors and up…people are in a much better position to maturely deal with it,” Hudson said. “I hope it will keep people on campus longer because we know when students move off campus, they do go into mixed-gender apartments.”
Monier said it is a good time to start implementing these changes.
“Schools are good at teaching people to be more diverse and accepting,” he said.
Monier added that the changes would make the campus more inclusive.
“I think it’s smart that they’re starting this with an upperclassmen hall,” he said. “Underclassmen are still learning the ropes; they haven’t gotten comfortable with campus yet.”
Rob Smolik can be reached at 581-2812 or email@example.com.