This week in Villanova history: February 21, 1997

Sullivan and Sheehan go co-ed in the fall

By Elizabeth Purcell

On Monday night, Feb, 17, members of the department for Residence Life announced their decision to make Sheehan and Sullivan Halls coed for next semester (Fall 1997) in order to accomplish a variety of goals set forth by the department.

According to Dr. Christine Lysionek of Residence Life, the resolution to make Sheehan and Sullivan Halls co-ed is only a small part of a much bigger plan within the department. Lysionek said, “Co-education is the strategy that Residence Life has chosen to achieve a larger plan for unity among University students.”

At the Monday night meeting, Lysionek emphasized that the goals of the department were: to improve a sense of community among all sophomores; to actively engage residents in discussions and activities that are important to the development of individuals in a larger community; to improve the quality of social interactions between men and women living in the two dorms; and to significantly impact the environment of Sullivan, with regard to discipline and vandalism. She said, “Residence Life is looking forward to providing a better quality of life for sophomores living in the Quad area.”

Accompanying the changes in Sheehan and Sullivan, there will be new requirements for the residents, such as attending two education programs geared toward co-habitation and participating in one community service activity per semester. Students in both dorms will also have to sign Community Living Contracts agreeing to comply with the above requirements. In addition, roommates will be asked to write their own contracts specifying what they expect from each other. “With the open visitation policy that will begin in October of next semester comes the issue of privacy,” Lysionek said. “Roommate Contracts will help to protect each roommate’s rights and set ground rules that will ensure a comfortable living environment.”

To facilitate the integration of the dorms, a new Resident Assistant structure will be implemented. In each dorm there will be one advisor for Community Development. A fifth position will be available as Quad director. Those five graduate students will also be in charge of the sixteen Resident Assistants who will live in Sheehan and Sullivan.

The final decision to integrate Sheehan and Sullivan was made by Rev. John Stack O.S.A., Dean of Students, and Dr. Richard A. Neville, vice president of Student Life, after the proposal to do so was submitted to the Student Life Committee of the Board of Trustees in December. Many students are surprised at the University’s decision to make the Quad co-ed.

Freshman Molly O’Conor said, “Because of the conservative visitation policy in effect now, I am surprised that the University agreed to go along with this. Personally, I have no objections!” Other students, like Terry Arlotta, a resident of Fedigan, believe that the changes will benefit relationships among peers. “I think it’s a good idea because the arrangements will be more true to life, said Arlotta. “Roommates will have to work out agreements and deal with their problems in an adult manner.”

Freshman Nicole Salamy added, “Diversity makes for a real college experience for everyone involved. I’m thrilled about the chance to have this great experience.”