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Academics

Preston House issue undecided

Micah Wilkins, Echo Online Writer

Preston House is currently being reconsidered as student housing again for next year, President Sandy Pfeiffer announced in Student Caucus Tuesday night.

“I’m going to rethink, give another look,” Pfeiffer said. “I can not promise that it will go the other direction, but I think it deserves that.”

On Work Day, students planted apple trees and prepared space for a future playground for staff kids nearby.

After it was announced last week that Preston House will not be offered for student housing for the upcoming year, Preston member MaKailah McKinley brought Preston House’s appeal to Caucus. Assistant Director of Housing Joyce Milling and Dean of Students Deb Meyers went to Preston House last Thursday night and told current members of the house that instead, the space will be used for faculty offices instead. As an alternative living situation, students who would be living in Preston House next year were offered two suites in the Village instead.

“The decision was made without going through the appropriate processes first,” McKinley said at caucus. “The student body at large didn’t have any kind of choice in the matter… It should have gone to committees first, and it didn’t.”

After meeting with Preston House members Tuesday night, Pfeiffer decided to change his mind about the situation.

“I think there’s a reason to take another look at what’s going on there,” he said to Caucus.

Though members of Preston House were told there would be no “ifs, ands or buts” about whether it would be used for faculty offices next year, McKinley said, members nonetheless want to open up the issue for discussion at large on campus.

“A lot is going to be lost, even if we try to move [Preston] to a different place on campus,” McKinley said.

In response to McKinley, dean of students Deb Myers, who was present at the caucus meeting, defended the decision, stating that because all the houses were originally created to house excess students who couldn’t fit in residence halls, “indicators in admissions would say that we have enough room in the residence halls.”

Preston House is organized as a cooperative space where students prepare all their own food and live without residence life staff.

Thus, Myers said, Preston House, and the other houses on campus, which include Boyd, Cannon and Rabbit Hutch, are no longer necessary to act as student housing.

“We really thought that we would be able to commit to Preston, but as more information has come in, we’re realizing that we can’t,” Myers said.

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