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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Walton Hall to be all freshmen, co-ed next fall

Photo by By Josh McCormack

Nadir Pozegija, the Walton Hall Council President, announces to residents of Walton hall the university’s plan to make dorm freshmen only and co-ed.

Standing on top of a table, electrical engineering sophomore and Walton Hall council president, Nadir Pozegija broke news to residents of Walton Hall and surrounding dorms that starting next fall Walton would be a co-ed and freshmen only dorm. 
During their first small council meeting of the semester, residents were told while they could move with their current roommates, groups could not move together. Telecommunications sophomore Jeff Caddell said the information, while unsurprising, still is hard to accept. 
“Honestly, I would love to say that I’m shocked, in a way I am, but in the same way I’ve been very upset for sure,” Caddell said. “I could tell that last semester they were talking about this kind of stuff and I knew when they started talking about it, this is what was going to happen just because this is the way the university is moving.” 
Tyler Maris, Walton Hall treasurer and chemical engineering sophomore, said that the university’s stance on the issue is unclear but claims to stem from a monetary standpoint. 
“It’s hard to say,” Maris said. ”The reasoning the university gave us for going co-ed was all male dorms don’t fill — so it was a reaction to the price.”
Pozegija said that despite their statement, the cause of the move derives from issues the university has had with Walton. 
“I can tell you that we were in multiple meetings with VPSA,” Pozegija said. ”Dr. Pugh, Charney Rydl, Dr. Reber, all high ups in [Resident Life] with the sole purpose of discussing events that had happened, not necessarily by Walton or by Walton residents but by something that was pinned on Walton.”
The beginning of the issues for Walton started a year ago when students visiting campus were verbally harassed with racial slurs outside of Walton Hall, however the A&M student responsible did not live in the dorm.While the student was found out and subsequently left the university, Pozegija said the damage was already done to Walton.
“It was pinned on us from the start,” Pozegija said. ”Before any investigation came about. It was a very reactionary judgment. It all turned out to be false, but we still took the fall for it, quite unfairly.”
Later that year another incident of racial comments, which Maris said might have been misinterpreted jokes, were heard outside of Walton Hall. Two days after a complaint was made, tables outside of the dorm where residents would spend time were removed.
“[This news] was dumb, I don’t understand why,” biomedical engineering sophomore and Neeley Hall resident Brandon Worth said. “This is the biggest, most redass and probably the best community you can find on campus from the dorms and they’re just going to change it.”
Sophomore and Neeley Hall resident Rachel Swindell said she feels an all male dorm is a good thing and even has benefitted her personally.
“I mean its definitely not going to be the same at all,” Swindell said. ”I honestly feel like these guys are like my brothers and now I feel like I can’t even come over to Walton because I won’t know anybody.”
As a resident who has lived in Walton for years, lived off-campus for a semester and then decided to return to the dorm, Caddell said the news is a tough thing to deal with. 
“Last semester we got told that this is kind of where things were going,” Caddell said. “So I wasn’t too keen on it then and I’m not too keen on it now simply because of the kind of traditions that are held in this building.”
The consensus coming from residents after they learned of Walton’s new direction was a loss of tradition — something Texas A&M is known for.
“My question is A&M wants to base itself off of tradition,” Worth said. “Well why are they going to change one of the biggest traditions since, pretty much, the campus was made?”
There will be a forum in Walton Hall this Friday where members of dorm and the surrounding community can ask questions and discuss their concerns. Members of Resident Life who were in attendance at the Walton Hall small council meeting were not able to comment at time of press. 

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