By Esther Elliott
Malone’s residential halls are known for their diverse communities where students can get to know each other and build strong relationships. These communities, however, will be changing in the fall.
On Feb. 17, an email written by Dr. David King announced Malone’s five-year partnership with Summit Academy, a non-profit school for alternate learners. Devol Hall will be repurposed as the school’s primary location in the summer and Summit Academy students are anticipated to be in the facility in 2023.
Moving Devol residents will cause other shifts in residence halls with the intention of consolidating students into one central hub on campus. Men will now live in Heritage and Fox Halls, and women will live in Haviland, Woolman-Whittier and Blossom.
The switch between Haviland and Heritage Halls allows for the highest number of single rooms to still be available. According to the FAQ page, both halls will have kitchenettes available and Haviland will undergo cosmetic renovations in the summer.
There will be a reduction of two to three resident assistant (RA) positions, but all resident directors (RDs) will be shifting to other buildings. This decision will naturally affect the cultures that have developed in the residence halls for years.
“[Devol] is a community that is made up of student athletes… [and] everyone usually hangs out with the guys they play sports with,” Temeko Holness, Devol’s residence director (RD), said. “Many [Devol] students are afraid they will lose the privacy they got with Devol’s dorm style, which I think is a good thing.”
“There is a sense of freedom that comes with the right approach to exposure,” Holness said. “I am glad that I get to witness how these young men will adapt.”
Residence halls are a major factor in creating relationships, which is largely due to student RAs encouraging community in their halls.
“I’ve lived [in Havi] all four years and have built many meaningful relationships,” Christian Stark, senior communication arts major and Haviland RA, said. “[In Havi] we try to make sure everyone is welcomed and feels a sense of belonging in our building.”
“The [Devol, Havi and Fox] communities are separate and distinct,” Stark said. “With these new changes, the cultures will shift, [but] I think it can be good for the male community at Malone… I’m sure women feel similarly sad to be moving from Heritage to Havi.”
Micah Czirr, RD of Haviland Hall, took time to consider the changes. He hopes that the new changes will be beneficial to students.
“The news of changes came as a shock at first,” Czirr said. “There are pros and cons to each of the men’s communities, and I’m excited for the opportunity to blend them together and reforge them, like folding steel to remove the impurities, to make something truly special.”
Destiny Tackett, junior youth and educational ministries major, will be an RA in Haviland next fall. Given the circumstances, Tackett’s new role is especially important to help her residents through this move. She welcomes the changes in hopes of it benefiting the students, and is confident that those affected by the switch will adjust.
“I definitely [understand some of the] concerns,” Tackett said, “[but] I trust that the Lord’s hand is in it, and that [this change] is all for good reason.”
Some students are nervous about the changes, some welcome them, and some are afraid that they won’t have access to the same things they have in their dorms now. King and the Student Development staff encourage students to ask questions and to consider the positive outcomes.
“Hosting a K-12 school system on campus will provide hands-on learning experiences for Malone students in our education, social work, and nursing programs, among others,” King stated in the email. “We are making a commitment to ensure that the events that DeVol hosts will continue to live on. Even though the building is repurposed, campus traditions will continue.”
The funding from the partnership and the savings from consolidating residents will be used for other institutional needs that will help Malone achieve long-term financial sustainability.For more information, students can ask questions at the upcoming housing meetings, reach out to their RD and Student Development, or visit the frequently asked questions page: www.malone.edu/devolquestions/.