Irwin residents settle in to new setup

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Irwin residents settle in to new setup

Story by Krista Porter

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Male residents have now spent a full month in a previously all-female hall. Due to the overflow of men in Gessner Hall, men now occupy the basement of Irwin Hall, and some residents are having to make adjustments in their lifestyle.

“I didn’t know men were going to be living in Irwin until move-in day,” sophomore transfer Bailey Kabrey, who lives on the third floor of Irwin Hall, said. “It was a shock at first, but they don’t bother me.”

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The overflow of men from Gessner occurred due to multiple men requesting single dorm rooms and the fact that there are more men than women in this year’s freshman class. The men who dwell in Irwin live in the basement, though they have access to the whole building.

Sophomore Michael Igwe lives in the basement of Irwin this year but lived in Gessner his freshman year.

“Everyone gets along really well,” Igwe said. “We watch movies and play table games down in the basement together all the time.”

In an effort to ensure the safety of residents in the now co-ed Irwin Hall, precautions have been taken such as an optional movie night when residents watched “Perks of Being a Wallflower” and discussed the issue of sexual assault afterward.

“The (residence assistants) are very open to talking about issues like sexual assault,” Igwe said. “They are trying to keep everyone safe and raise awareness of important issues that may affect us as residents of a co-ed dorm.”

Some past residents of Irwin have a different viewpoint.

“I think I would be uncomfortable with men living in Irwin,” sophomore Allissa Houchin said.

Houchin lived in Irwin last year when it housed only females. She recalls all the women leaving their doors open and feeling comfortable to walk around the halls in pajamas with no makeup on.

“I always folded my laundry in the laundry room when it was done,” Houchin said. “I would feel uncomfortable doing that with men in there.”

Though Houchin is not fully opposed to having men in Irwin she said it “wouldn’t be the same” if men had lived in Irwin last year.

Junior Megan Pontius, who lived in Irwin two years ago said male residents would probably not bother her much.

“I picked Irwin because it was an all-female dorm,” Pontius said. “But I don’t think men living in Irwin would have changed anything for me.”

Since the men’s rooms are confined to the basement, it is at the discretion of the current residents on how much time is spent with the opposite sex.