According to the Campus Master Plan, the North Residential neighborhood will be home to two new residential buildings and a replacement of LaFollette Complex, with an aim "to reinforce the sense of community." The new residence halls in the North Residential neighborhood are expected to house 1,100 beds. Samantha Brammer // DN File
As closing time looms, students continue moving from Woody/Shales
The fifth floor of the Woody/Shales Hall in LaFollette Complex is getting closer and closer to looking like a ghost town.
The university made an announcement in January that the two halls would be completely closed this year, but a large freshman class required a partial reopening. Since August, Housing and Residence Life has been making plans to continue the closure of the co-ed floor.
Students living on the floor have been moving to other dorms on campus since October, and as of Nov. 17, only five students out of an initial 49 had not yet started the process of moving.
Cindy Miller, the assistant director of marketing, communications and technology for Housing and Residence Life, said the moving has been smooth. Students moving have had to meet with a hall director to find a new room and schedule a day and time to move out.
“Many of the students who wanted to move have completed the process,” Miller said.
Students were mostly able to find new roommates, but there has been at least one surprise in the process.
“A roommate pair found an entirely empty room within our residence hall system,” Miller said. “Overall, the process has gone quite well.”
But even so, moving has been bittersweet for students like Alexis Parker, a freshman early childhood and early special education major, who moved out of Woody/Shales into Johnson Complex Oct. 14.
“I wanted to move into Johnson originally,” Parker said. “When I got to know the girls on my floor and make friends, I didn’t want to move … as soon as we moved in we were a good group of girls that got along well.”
Many of the girls took well to moving out, Parker said.
“A lot of the girls are ready to move out as soon as possible,” Parker said before moving to Johnson.
Moving also meant losing her resident assistant, Hannah.
“She went to far lengths to get the girls to join in the hall activities,” Parker said. “She enjoyed her job, and when we found out we had to move, I could tell she was upset to lose us.”
But the actual move was not so difficult. Miller said several students got assistance, and Parker added "it wasn’t that bad of a process." The new environment, however, did mean that making friends became slightly more difficult.
“In 'Shwoody,' most of the rooms kept their doors open — people could just pop their heads in and say hi or start a conversation,” Parker said. “People [in Johnson] tend to keep their door closed, but if you do knock they are more than welcome to open up.”
Not everything was a downside, though. Parker said the rooms in Woody/Shales seemed like "prisons in a way," but her new room in Johnson feels "more like a home.”
“I don’t really like change,” Parker said. “But the move did help me learn to adjust quicker.”
The remaining students are expected to move out by the end of the semester.