New students and different living arrangements bring changes to dorm life.
Goshen College has restructured the underclassmen dormitory arrangements and new students will experience fuller halls.
This year, the school has decided to temporarily retire Miller hall, leaving Kratz and Yoder halls available for student living for the 159 first-year, full-time frosh (FYFTF) and 134 returning sophomores.
There are 16 commuters from the first-year class, meaning that Kratz and Yoder still hold most of the 85 females and 74 males of the first-year class.
The sophomore class, of 76 females and 58 males, is also mostly housed in the dorms.
Of the first-years there are 28 Hispanic students and 21 Catholic students, which are growing demographics on the campus.
First-year and sophomore students are now consolidated more efficiently on all four floors of Kratz and Yoder. Though each floor does not necessarily hold full capacity, the amount of residents on floors is greater than the previous year.
Floors in Kratz range from 22-26 students, and the floors in Yoder, which are longer, span from 33-47 students.
The new set-up has garnered differing opinions from the classes living in the dorms, who are primarily affected.
Some acknowledge the move as smart, while others lament the change in tradition.
Abbie Kaser, a sophomore, said, “I liked being spread out all over the connectors. Now it’s consolidated, which is nice, but at the same time people aren’t milling around as much. I feel like there’s more divisiveness between Kratz and Yoder.”
The larger capacity seems to affect students’ views on community building as well.
Alex Moon, first-year, believes that a fuller floor “creates more tight-knit community. I think when there are less people it would create a special bond, but at the same time it means there are not as many people you can easily access.”
Neal Friesen, assistant director of resident life, believes the change to be positive.
Said Friesen, “When more of the rooms are full, there’s more activity on the floors. You have more of an opportunity for interaction with more people per floor.”
Friesen recognizes that the dorms have a different feel than last year, but hopes that students will not feel too sad when passing by Miller.
Another change form Miller’s closing is that Katie Dwyer-Zeman, assistant resident director and director of student activities, has moved to the junior-senior apartments to take on the responsibilities of the previous apartment manager, a now obsolete position.