Due to extensive renovations on Galloway residence this year, Galloway guys are setting up new digs at Whitley residence, which served as a women’s residence last year.
According to senior Caroline Andrews, Whitley resident assistant from 2016 to 2017, Whitley was a “pretty quiet place” when she lived there.
“There was a great secret community within its walls where girls would spend time studying, cooking, drinking tea, or just enjoying one another’s company,” she said.
Girls there would routinely have Friday night movie nights, and, during her time, even started participating in the annual Hillsdale homecoming week tradition of dorm mock rock.
Sophomore Bridget Boyd, a second-year transfer student and Whitley resident last year, agreed that the dorm was a “quiet place” to come back to last year. However, when she heard her old dorm was going to the guys, she said her first thought was, “Maybe that’s all good old Whitley needed: some rambunctious dudes.”
In order to set a new tone for the year, senior Calvin Kinney, head resident assistant of Whitley, said the new residents created a dorm motto. “We wanted to create a dorm motto that everyone could rally around” Kinney said, so he and his residents came up with the phrase, “Men of Honor.”
Kinney explained, “We didn’t just want to say, ‘Oh, we’re men of honor’ — we wanted to put something in the dorm that we could tangibly look at every time we walk in.” To this end, the men of Whitley designed a poster board plaque of sorts, with the honor code written on the outside and the slogan, “Men of Honor” on the inside. Then, each resident signed it. Kinney said they have plans to hang it on the wall beside the front door.
For residents like Rowan Macwan, junior and resident assistant in Whitley, being a “man of honor” means “standing up for what’s important to me” while being “honest, open, and transparent.”
“I think that’s really important to developing community because with guys it’s easy to joke around and to act as if you’re very familiar with each other without having any real relationship with each other,” Macwan said. “Being honest and open is an important way that as men we are to interact with each other and to help each other grow … and it’s important as far as being honorable men.”
Macwan said he was initially disappointed to leave the halls of Galloway behind this year: “I miss the place,” he said. But he said he is excited for the year to come. So is Kinney, who said he is “pretty stoked to do something different, to create something new” in the new-to-them residence.
Whitley has an occupancy of just 48 students, while Galloway’s occupancy falls somewhere around 75 students. And although Whitley had been an upperclassmen dorm while it housed women, the new crowd of guys brings with it 13 freshmen as well. The Galloway crew has always welcomed freshmen, however, according to Kinney and Macwan.
One residual tradition they used to kick off the year and integrate dorm upperclassmen and freshman alike was Whitley’s first “Feast”: a shirtless cookout complete with lots of food, loud music, and dorm festivities. Galloway hosted Feast every week until renovations took over this summer, Kinney said, so the first feast of the year at Whitley was significant to helping keep Galloway culture alive. According to Kinney, the attendance often “is like a diaspora…a lot of those [previous Galloway residents] even come back for feast every week, which is really cool and keeps the culture alive a little bit more.”
Additionally, the men of Whitley are putting their heads together to create their own new “signature event,” according to Kinney. Kinney and Macwan also mentioned the possibility of outdoor movie nights with smores this semester, and on a broader scale, “very potentially,” a dorm block party involving other dorms on campus.
“Creating a completely new culture while preserving our old culture is just a really big task, but it’s also exciting. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun to see it come together.” Kinney said.