Lifestyles of the rich and freshmen



Jeffrey Eisenberg

Katharine and St. Monica Halls on South Campus have been reorganized for their freshman residents this year.

In the past, both residence halls hosted freshmen on co-ed floors with genders divided by wing and had separate bathrooms for each wing.

This year, however, Residence Life made the decision to place males and females on separate floors. Both Katharine and St. Monica now accommodate two floors of males and two floors of females each.

In addition, the third floor lounge of Katharine Hall has been converted into a triple room for three female students.

While the changes may come as a surprise to former South Campus residents, it is not the first time for changes like these, according to Marie Schauder, Residence Life’s assistant director for Housing Services.

“This isn’t anything new,” Schauder said. “[Lounges] have been used as fall-backs in the past.”

Partly as a result of the gender imbalance, with a slightly higher percentage of female residents, Schauder explained that Residence Life has a somewhat more difficult job of finding appropriate housing for female residents.

Residence Life’s preference is still to place all residents in standard double rooms, and so the use of the lounge, while necessary, was not a first choice.

“We don’t like to do it because it takes away from public space,” Schauder said. “But we didn’t have suitable space to offer those three women.”

Space becomes available for freshmen who wish to be de-tripled throughout the year. Some sophomores living in Good Counsel Hall, for example, eventually move up to openings on Main Campus, thereby opening additional rooms for freshmen.

“De-tripling goes on throughout the whole year,” Schauder said. “We are usually able to de-triple most people who request it.”

However, freshmen Alex Frantz, Kathryn Harkins and Katherine Jalbert, the residents of 302 Katharine Hall, feel quite comfortable in their current living arrangement, the former lounge of the building’s third floor.

“We’re really lucky,” Harkins said. “I really don’t know how we got picked. People are definitely jealous.”

The former lounge came furnished with a television, a table, a small lounge sofa, three wardrobe closets and dressers, three desks and desk chairs and a garbage can.

“The only downside is it is a little hard to meet people sometimes,” Jalbert said. The lounge room is located in the connecting hallway between the wings of the building, rather than in one of the wings itself.

“We don’t hear the noise from the halls, though, and people always want to come see this room anyway,” Harkins said.

Furthermore, the change to single-sex floors in Katharine and St. Monica Halls puts room 302 in the middle of an all-female floor rather than between men in one wing and women in the other.

Schauder noted Residence Life’s view that there is more of a comfort level with single-gender floors.

“We think that for freshmen coming into college, it is easier for students of the same gender to connect at first,” Schauder said.

The residents of 302 Katharine Hall appreciated the comfort level factor, though Jalbert noted a general favoring towards split gender floors.

“I’m glad that we still have a mixed building, though,” Harkins said, contrasting Katharine with Caughlin and McGuire Halls, which remain single-gender residence halls.