Balport has two big changes coming – the Spanish House and Co-ed dorms. Beginning fall 2012, the first three floors of both Balboa and Newport will be co-ed dorms, allowing both male and female residents to live together on the same floor.
Sean Leahy, current RD of Balport, believes this change will have many benefits.
“Having co-ed dorms will make floor events a lot more fun and will produce healthy bonding and mature interaction. It will also make it easier to choose which floor and quad to live in,” Leahy said.
This idea began late last semester when Leahy conducted a Focus Group with the residents of Balboa third floor, currently a co-ed floor. Around 20 people showed up, and discussed the positive and negative aspects of living on that type of floor. The overall consensus was that it was a very positive experience.
“The Focus group produced really great feedback so after bringing the idea to the attention of the Residence Life staff, they really liked the idea, so we decided to switch,” Leahy said.
Senior Kevin Strickland, the current RA of third floor, believes the co-ed aspect of the floor has been a successful experiment.
“I thought it would be weird at first, but it has changed for the better, because it’s like having a brother or sister floor on your own floor. It’s a better integration of gender so it’s more like real life apartment complex living,” Strickland said.
Leahy feels that having co-ed floors will improve Balport residents’ experience.
“Just like in Laguna and Huntington, there’s a certain camaraderie that comes with just having girls on the floor or just having guys because you get to bond in a deeper way, but as you get older, it’s good to have those interactions with people of the opposite sex,” Leahy said.
The fourth floors of both buildings will not be co-ed. Balboa fourth floor will have guys and Newport fourth floor will girls.
Of all the RAs for the 2012-2013 school year, three of them are returnees: juniors Chris Randolf, Kirstie Burke, and Becca Dattilo. Randolf and Burke are accustomed to dealing with both male and female residents within the same building; however, Dattilo, currently an RA of Catalina, has only dealt with female residents, so being an RA of a co-ed dorm will be quite a change for her, but Dattilo believes it will be a new and exciting one.
“Being the RA of a co-ed floor will definitely give me a better understanding and a different perspective of men – how they think and live,” Dattilo said.
Dattilo wants the concept of respect to be a huge part of the co-ed floor.
“I hope that both girls and guys on the floor will treat each other with respect like the brothers and sisters in Christ that they are,” Dattilo said.