By Ashley Coker
Beginning in the fall, the first floor of Long Hall will be home to female students, while the third and fourth floors continue to house male students.
According to Matt Williams, Long’s resident director, after the decision to close Huston Hall for renovations was made and the number of students graduating was held up against the projected retention rate and the projected new student enrollment for next year, there were not enough beds to provide female students with adequate campus housing.
He said the most logical and cost effectively way to solve the problem was to open up a hall in Long to female students.
With female students on the first floor and male students living on the third and fourth floors, some of the procedures within Long will look different than those of other dorms around campus.
Women will not be allowed on the third and fourth floors and men will not be allowed on the first floor, with the exception of open dorm hours. Students will also have to scan their access cards to enter each floor of Long, according to Williams.
He said that the residential rooms on the second floor of Long will be closed next year due to the reopening of the first floor of Woodlee-Ewing Hall, but the community living facilities including the kitchen, lounge and computer lab will be open to all residents of Long at all times.
The major difference, he said, is that there will be extra security cameras installed in communal areas, which is fairly standard for a building housing both men and women.
Upcoming senior Jessalyn Pierce will serve as the resident assistant for the women on Long’s first floor.
Pierce said that she is both excited and challenged by the prospect of helping shape a new culture for the current residents of Long, but noted that each dorm and each hall faces a unique set of challenges each year, so those working in Long are not the only members of the Residence Life staff who have to wrestle with “unknown” elements.
Williams said, “The housing predicament caused by the closing of Huston Hall has provided Bryan with a unique opportunity to continue encouraging healthy relationships and a healthy community in a new setting.”
Long was build as a men’s dorm in 1964 and currently houses only men, but has been served as a women’s dorm several times throughout its history.
It has also housed men and women simultaneously in the past with the most recent time being the 2005-06 school year.