Tori Howell, Contributing Writer
Each school year brings new changes to campus and the 2014-2015 year is no exception. This year’s alterations will affect freshmen dorms, the e-cigarette policy, the sexual assault policy and student activities.
Theresa Hall will now be an all-male dorm and Gregory Hall will be an all-female dorm. This is unlike previous years, when Gregory was a male dorm and Theresa was a female dorm. The sole reason for this switch was the influx of freshman girls, according to Dore Madere, director of Student Life. Though the new freshman class is smaller than last year’s class, it contains a larger percentage of female students. As Gregory had more room than Theresa, administration decided to make the shift.
Gregory received extensive remodeling. Each dorm room received new desks, chairs, vanities, sinks, smoke detectors and lights. In addition, all walls were repainted with a blue accent wall in each room. Some rooms were also made handicap accessible.
Administration bought new furniture and lights for the lounge, and a new porch with an awning now faces Anselm Hall.
O’Connell Hall was another dorm that underwent changes. While it used to be a female freshman hall, male upperclassmen will now reside there.
Another change was the decision to create an e-cigarette policy. They will now be treated like regular cigarettes, meaning smoking e-cigarettes will not be allowed in dorms or public buildings.
“We did research on them over the summer,” Madere said. “We wanted to make a decision to ensure our students would be healthy and safe.”
Last year, students saw the university go to great lengths to find the best adjustments to its sexual assault policy. The university hired a new campus lawyer to counsel them through the process.
“The definition of consent has been more clearly defined,” said Madere. “I strongly suggest every student take a look at the new policy.”
After Renee Talamantez stepped down as the director of Student Activities, the university hired Miquela Camara to fill her position.
“She’s awesome,” Madere commented. “She has a lot of new energy and I think she’s going to do a lot of wonderful things.”
Of course, the biggest addition to every new school year is the freshman class.
According to a university press release, the members of the class of 2018 represent 42 states, 246 cities and five countries. The farthest a new student traveled to get to campus was 7,686 miles from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Irving, Texas.