The Voice: Summer 2002

The Voice

Freshmen-only halls are a thing of the past

By Andrew De Jong

The start of the 2002-2003 academic year will mark an important change in Dordt’s housing policy. Beginning next fall, freshmen and sophomores will live side-by-side in North, East, West, and Covenant Halls. At present freshmen live in East and North Halls and sophomores in West and Covenant.

The new housing arrangement, called blended housing, will hopefully give sophomores the chance to provide leadership for incoming freshmen, according to Ken Boersma, vice president for student services. Boersma and other members of the Dordt College staff have seen that a unique culture often develops in freshmen halls.

“Freshmen don’t always develop the best habits,” he says. “With blended housing, students who have succeeded in adjusting to college life can model good behavior.”

Boersma also recognizes that there may be some drawbacks. “We recognize the challenge,” he says. “We realize that not all modeling may be positive.”

Despite the drawbacks, student services personnel feel that blended housing is the best choice. Many institutions that are the same size as Dordt have found blended housing effective. And current Dordt students who live in West Hall, which already contains a mix of freshmen and sophomores, generally appreciate the atmosphere that blended housing provides. Dan Goslinga, a freshman from Orange City, Iowa, is one such student. According to Goslinga, living next to upperclassmen allows him to get to know a wide variety of people.

“I can see how some people would like to live with all freshmen,” he says. “But for me, I like getting to know the upperclassmen.”