Hillsdale has a house divided. Well, a residence hall divided.
This semester, the college allowed 30 freshmen women into New Dorm, which used to be an upperclassmen dorm. While women’s dorms have separated freshmen from upperclassmen for years, men’s dorms do not have not.
Many freshmen said they would like to expand this age integration across all dorms.
“It would be almost like a mentorship type thing where your suitemates are upperclassmen that could help guide you along,” said Freshman Emily Griffith, a McIntyre resident. “I think that would be a cool opportunity for everyone.”
Nathan Stanish, a freshman living in Simpson Residence, said he favors living in an integrated dorm.
“I would say it gives us the double benefit of the experience and maturity of the upperclassmen, without losing the sense of community with people that you can relate to,” he said.
However, it wasn’t just freshmen who were supportive of the idea.
Kate Brox, a senior living in Mauck Hall, said, “Girls’ dorms lack a certain flair compared to the guys’ dorms — I wish I had experienced that.”
The seven students I talked to described disparity in culture and connection in the women’s dorms, which has created a suspicion that women’s dorms are missing out on something that the men’s dorms have.
When surveyed, McIntyre residents were split on if women’s dorms should be combined in age. Some residents mentioned that they don’t want to have to live with freshmen one day as upperclassmen, while others pointed out that the option of integrated dorms already exists through sororities and having upperclassmen resident assistants.
The best solution, which allows both sides to be content, is to allow all women the choice of living in an integrated dorm as another part of the housing application process.
New Dorm is the best candidate for a permanently integrated dorm. Freshman Phoebe VanHeyningen, a New Dorm resident, agreed that it could be a plausible solution.
“I feel like it gives you more of a grounding as a freshman, because you have so many years of experience from all of the other girls,” she said.