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The Blue & Gray Press | September 24, 2017

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Campus Housing Should be More Fair to Males

By BREEANNA SVEUM


Though class registration for each semester can be stressful, what with degree requirements, figuring out prerequisites and making sure you have time to eat lunch, far more stressful is the process of housing selection, which has a far larger impact on the average student for a longer period of time.

Housing is determined by lottery number within class standing, so a student with 89 credits, just shy of reaching senior status, has the same shot at a good lottery number as a student with 61 credits.

For female students, who have plenty of available housing, including the all-female Ball Hall, a lottery number below 1000 will guarantee you a room in almost any dorm.

But for male students, the opportunity to live in a conveniently located building is much more difficult to attain.

Willard Hall, for example, is the only upperclassmen, co-ed dorm located in the middle of campus, making it convenient for those with classes in both Jepson and Combs. But there are only a couple of male rooms in that building.

Discounting the first floor, which is largely set-aside for the Freshman Year Experience-GOLD program, there are four male rooms in Willard, and one of them is for the RA.

This means that a male student double-majoring in biology and psychology is forced to take the long trek to either Jepson or Chandler every or every other day.  Female students have the option of living in the middle of campus, halving the distance they have to walk, lugging heavy textbooks along.

Ball hall, which houses only female students, is also located in the middle of campus and also has the benefit on being on Ball Circle, the largest expanse of field on campus available for students to use for impromptu sports games since the bookstore trailer took up the lawn in front of Westmoreland Hall.

Male students, who are being admitted to Mary Washington in larger and larger quantities each year, should have the option of more centralized housing in Ball Hall and Willard Hall.

One option is to have a more equal number of male and female rooms in those buildings. The male students at Mary Washington were accepted based on the same criteria as the female students and as such should have the same opportunities when it comes to housing.
Female students still outnumber male students on this campus, and males certainly shouldn’t be given preferential treatment just because of their gender.

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