Hudson: Female dormitories to close

The vice president of student affairs informed students of plans to close some residential halls in order to determine what’s next for student living on campus at Monday evening’s senate meeting.

According to William Hudson, an evaluation of facilities on campus showed that some dorms would either require service repairs or renovations that would cost a lot of funding.

“We want our students to be in the most comfortable situations,” Hudson said. “We think the 800-bed facility will represent that, especially for our female students.”

With registration for the 800-bed facility scheduled to launch online Feb. 13, Hudson said this is the opportunity to close down the dorms to determine the next steps.

“That’s how we are going to attract the best and brightest students,” Hudson said. “By having facilities that’s comparable to other universities.”

Hudson said female students will be priority for the new 800-bed facility.  However, male students can apply for housing at the new facility as well.

Hudson also addressed questions from some students regarding the mandatory housing requirement for freshmen and some sophomores, depending on their studies and source of funding.

According to Hudson, the requirement allows the university to show bonding agencies that they can fill the beds in order to gain funding.  

“We have to meet our bond,” Hudson said. ” It’s like a car payment. We have to pay it every month.”

Female students can expect McGuinn, Diamond and Cropper halls to be closed once the 800-bed facility opens.

Hudson said the new facility has not been named yet, but the university is looking to have someone purchase the naming rights as a way to create scholarship money for students.

Some students fear the new facility will be too congested for all female students.

Iyonna McIntyre, a sophomore computer science student from Miami, said closing three dorms on campus could cause the females student body to decrease.

“Girls who live on campus will only have one option for housing, and there won’t be enough room for female students and the boys who get picked to live at the new location, which will not appeal to potential female students,” McIntyre said.

Other students feel the closing of the dorm will decrease a lot of safety risks for female students.

Eric Harris, a fourth-year psychology student from Miami, said moving the majority of the female student population in one area could decrease the number of female students walking far distances on campus alone.

“Not having all the female dorms spaced out across campus will decrease the changes for female students to be harmed by potential predators, which would create a safer environment for everyone,” Harris said.

Hudson also informed students on the progression of student financial aid liaisons. He is looking to have the 15 student positions filled within two weeks.

“We are being very particular about what we are looking for,” Hudson said.  

He eventually wants establish a task force in order to be more transparent for students.

According to Hudson, financial aid will be disbursing on time this year. Hudson said funds weren’t disbursed on time in the past due to enrollment still being open to students.

“Hopefully all students have direct deposit set up,” Hudson said. “The turnaround is a lot quicker.”

Hudson also wants students to remember that the priority deadline for FASFA is March 1.

Hudson has appointed Angela Coleman to serve as acting dean of students while Henry Kirby, current dean of students, takes an undetermined amount of leave for medical reasons.

Coleman, who currently serves as associate vice president of student affairs, said she will be looking at departments to access what goals they have for this year.

“I really believe in stepping back and getting the big picture before I make any changes,” Coleman said.

Coleman said she currently serves as chairperson for the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeals Committee, along with supervising the counseling center, student health services, TRIO programs and CeDAR.

Hudson and Coleman want all students to be aware of the open door policy that they both have and that students can always come and voice concerns or issues to them.