Jocks, party people, or hicks?

Jason Mann

Jason Mann

When you think of Hansen Hall, what is the first word that comes to mind? “Farmers and cowboys,” said Peter Beck, a junior dairy science and agricultural business major.

But Sara Fehrman, a junior nursing major, puts it more bluntly: “Hicks.”

Hansen isn’t the only residence hall on campus that has a stereotype. Most students think of Young Hall as the “jock hall” and Binnewies Hall as the “party hall.” But are these labels correct? Do we have students separated by personalities?

The better question is, did students label themselves, or did the Department of Residential Life have anything to do with it?

According to Michael Kervin, director of Residential Life, students label themselves.

How a student gets placed in a hall is fairly simple, he said. When they apply, students mark their top two choices and usually they get placed in the hall that was their first choice. Sometimes a student’s choices are full, and then they get placed in whichever hall is most similar to their choices and has openings.

Kervin said the only attempt at diversification the Department of Residential Life makes is to keep a certain percentage of rooms on each floor reserved for incoming freshmen so no floor is strictly sophomores.

Kervin isn’t a fan of the stereotypes. The reputations that really bother him are those of Binnewies and Young. He said regardless of what is assumed, the residents of the Larson Complex are serious students and that you will most likely find parties and partiers in any of the residence halls on campus.

Kervin also wants to remind students that all dorm rooms on campus, excluding Caldwell Hall, are identical; the only thing that makes one better or worse in the eye of a resident is its location.

So, how is it students put these labels on themselves? For most, students choose to live in halls older friends lived in and loved, creating a type of legacy.

Students may also choose their living location based on where other people from their high school are living. Most students will find, though, no matter whether or not they applied for the hall they were placed in, after a few weeks, they wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else.

“The best hall on campus is the first one you live in,” Kervin said.