Bringing in the boys will not improve Prentice Hall

Emma Eckert

It has been brought to the attention of me and my fellow residents that beginning with the 2008-09 academic year, Prentice Hall will house both male and female students. As a resident of Prentice Hall, I was concerned as to why current Prentice Hall residents were not contacted regarding the possibility of a change.

There are many reasons why there should remain a residence hall that is inhabited by only female students. A portion of our current residents choose to live in Prentice Hall because their religious and moral beliefs prohibit cohabitation with males. If Prentice Hall becomes a co-ed residence hall, where would these residents be able to live? Because of the great importance placed on diversity, the university should take into consideration all different religious backgrounds when altering aspects of residence hall life.

My personal experiences living at Kent State have been pleasant ones. Although I was not thrilled about living in Prentice Hall due to its all-female nature, I do appreciate the cleaner nature of my fellow residents. I am also thankful for the naturally quieter nature of the all-female building. I have friends in other residence halls and I have noticed they are much louder during nighttime hours, particularly Stopher and Verder halls. Even though I disagree with many of the generalizations and stereotypes associated with females, I would argue that Prentice is quieter and more conducive to being an educational environment because it is inhabited by all females. There is less vandalism and the hallways are more welcoming to visitors and residents than other halls I have been in. Granted this is my first semester on campus, but I believe living in Prentice Hall has contributed to my positive view of Kent State and on-campus life.

I do not plan on being a resident of Prentice Hall next fall, but this is not because it is an all-female building. Prentice lacks the amenities other halls have. It is these amenities that encourage students to live elsewhere.

Prentice is the oldest residence hall on campus that it still being used for its original purpose. Residents of Prentice do not enjoy air conditioning, and the heating units are archaic and difficult to operate. Not to mention the heating units are not consistent from room to room. Also the bathrooms in Prentice Hall are communal bathrooms. Other halls have bathrooms in their individual rooms or “pod” bathrooms, which provide more privacy. Prentice also only has handicap accessibility on the first floor. We do not have a working elevator for residents, which is especially inconvenient on move-in days. I believe that the lack of these amenities, not the fact that Prentice is all female, is the deterrent for student housing contract renewal to Prentice Hall.

I am aware that Residence Services is planning to close the eight First-Year Experience residence halls and will need more housing for these students. According to Kent Interhall Council, Kent State has seven male students for every 11 female students. With so many female students, there is no reason the university should not be able to fill an all-female residence hall. An argument was made that there are many empty rooms and spaces in Prentice Hall, yet there are no more empty spaces or empty rooms in Prentice than there are in any other residence hall. And if you asked the people who have moved out of Prentice, I doubt the reason they would give for moving out would be that it is an all-female hall. Simply changing the building to a co-educational living environment would not attract more residents.

The residents of Prentice Hall realize this is a late point at which to take action against

Residence Service’s actions to change the makeup of the students living in Prentice Hall. This is because Residence Services acted without taking into account any thoughts or feelings from the current residents of Prentice Hall. How can Residence Services claim to have a connection with the residents when they clearly do not?

Emma Eckert

Freshman architecture major