Freshmen, honors students share co-ed residence hall
By Barbara Holloway
The Herald Staff
Delta Hall was built in 1958. Eisenhower was president, the Berlin wall did not exist and the parents of most freshmen where still in diapers.
While all those things have changed, Delta Hall remained largely a male-only residence hall until last year.
Women on campus are now allowed to live along with their male counterparts in the same building.
Arkansas State University has initiated a First Year Experience (FYE) in Delta Hall and added honors halls.
The FYE in Delta Hall is a program to help first year students to adjust to university life and provide assistance for problems students might face. A letter to students from the Department of Residence Life in spring 1999, said, “participation in the program is on a volunteer basis and a genuine interest in the program should be the result.”
The program was designed to create an environment of support, critical thinking, leadership and college success.
With an increase in enrollment within the last three to four years, Lee Trueblood, resident program coordinator of student housing, said the increasing numbers of female students have caused a demand for on-campus housing and more women students prefer to live on campus.
Delta Hall has created more space for the overflow of women and converted two wings into honors wings.
Females will be assigned to the second floor and male residents will be on the first floor.
Honors hall students must maintain a B average. The students take the same classes, attend seminars together and share similar interests.
The Department of Residence Life said in the letter to the students that housing honor students together will give them more opportunities to develop their skills and grow together.
Jennifer Clark, a freshman marketing major of Redfield, said, “I like the people I am rooming with and feel the students in the honors program are a little more serious about college than the rest of the student population.”
Kortney Penny, a junior radio-television major of Hot Springs, and resident assistant at Delta Hall, said, “Females have a key to the floor and no one can just come in.”
She also said the female students liked it and were adjusting well.
“The benefit of living at Delta Hall is everyone feels like they are a part of a community because we share one bathroom on our wing and provide a support system for each other,” Penny said.
Besides the changes in living arrangements, Delta Hall has undergone some cosmetic changes also.
New carpet and paint give the halls a cleaner look, and new safety precautions have been implemented to make the residence hall safe for all residents.
Penny said, “I look forward to the improvements to Delta Hall and hope the university will keep up the remodeling so students can live in a safe building that is in good condition.”
Trueblood said, “Safety is the first priority and all doors leading to the floors are locked from the inside with safety bars.”
Chris Cockrell, a sophomore electrical engineering major of Morrilton and resident assistant, said, “We hope they do more improvements because other sections of the halls need attention.”
The other wings of Delta are in need of repair with ceiling stains visible, yellowed walls and worn carpeting throughout in the male wings.
The money to pay for improvements is based on the fiscal budget from the following year.
Craig Johnson, assistant dean of student affairs, said, “Repair, replacement and renovation money come from profits generated from student rent.”
John Sagaser, associate director of housing, said, “Of the $3.5 million in 98-99, $95,000 went towards capital improvements.
“Other budget surplus money generated is used for other university improvements and reserve profits keep rent from going up,” Johnson said.
Chris Todd, a freshmen business administration major of Little Rock said, “Being coeducational is an interesting learning opportunity for everyone.”
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