Milton Daniel could house women in fall

Changes in residential halls in fall 2007 will make history, allowing women to live in Milton Daniel Hall for the first time, the director of residential services said.Milton Daniel, along with Wiggins, Foster, Waits and Jarvis halls may all have major changes for fall 2007, said Craig Allen, director of residential services.

“All of this is part of our broader initiative to really reshape TCU as a residential university,” Allen said. “We’re moving forward full steam on this and most of the changes should be permanent by the end of the semester.”

Upperclass students who move into Milton Daniel will get first priority in the new halls opening the following spring, and it will be priced so students will save money by living there for a semester, he said. Waits and Milton Daniel may become coed next fall, Allen said.

The changes in residence halls may happen because of the construction of four new halls, Allen said. Because two new halls will be open in fall 2007 and two won’t open until spring 2008, TCU needs to find a way to house the students who want to move into the halls opening in the spring, he said.

The potential changes benefit students who do not get into the new halls opening in the fall, Allen said. They can live in a different residence hall in the fall semester, then move to one of the new halls in the spring, he said.

Women who move into Jarvis in the fall will have priority in the new halls, Allen said. Jarvis Hall will then close for the spring semester for renovation.

Allen said he did not think the university would have trouble getting women to move into Milton Daniel.

“It’ll be kind of a novelty,” Allen said. “Imagine being some of the only women to ever live in Milton.”

Sunny Vestal, a freshman nursing major, said she would not want to live in Milton Daniel.

“Guys have lived there for so long, and it’s probably just not as well kept,” Vestal said.

Vestal is not alone. Allyse Hillman, a sophomore nutrition major, and Natalie Hodge, a sophomore nursing major, say Milton Daniel would need to be renovated before they would think about moving in.

“It’s disgusting,” Hillman said. “I’m sure there are some girls who would live there, but I wouldn’t want to.”

Allen said Milton Daniel got new paint and carpet last year and university officials hope to show students it is in good shape.

The opportunity to live in Milton Daniel won’t last long because the university plans to either tear down or completely renovate the hall in spring 2009, Allen said.

Milton Daniel currently houses two fraternities, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Pi Kappa Phi. Both fraternities may move into Wiggins in Worth Hills. Wiggins may be renovated next fall to accommodate the fraternities, Allen said.

Matt Kiesel, president of Pi Kapp, said the fraternity is excited about the potential opportunity to move into Worth Hills.

“It seems like a good fit because of halls in the Greek not currently being used for Greek housing,” Kiesel said. “Right now, it’s just a matter of figuring out the details.”

John Wood, president of Sig Ep, said he thinks the fraternity would be more connected to the entire Greek community if it moved to Worth Hills.

“We’re looking forward to possibly moving down there,” Wood said. “It’s a step in the right direction.”

The Pi Kapps and the Sig Eps may not be the only students not returning to the same rooms. Residents of Foster will not be able to return because it will become a freshmen-only dorm, Allen said.

Vestal, who lives in Foster, said she had planned to live in Foster again next year. She is a member of ROTC, whose students have typically lived in Foster, she said.

Allen said the university will reserve rooms in Foster for freshmen ROTC students. Upperclass students who may be displaced because of housing changes might get special priority for housing sign ups, he said.

Allen said he doesn’t think potentially adding more coed halls will affect the number of female students applying to live in Colby or Sherley halls.

“Right now we get so many requests for Colby and Sherley that it will be nice to have some requests for other facilities as well,” Allen said. “There are a lot of freshmen women who like the history and tradition of living in Colby or Sherley.”

New housing programs are part of the reason TCU may create more coed halls, Allen said.

Students will have the option of joining a “living-learning program” when they sign up for housing, Allen said. The university will try to place students with similar interests or majors in the same hall, or close to one another in the same dorm, he said.

“In doing that, we wanted to make sure we had a place for freshmen in a coed setting,” Allen said. “We already do this for honors and ROTC students and now we’re just extending it.