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Baylor housing applications to change

March 6, 2003

By Kurt Watkins

The Department of Campus Living and Learning is working to create a living experience in the residence halls that reflects the outside world.

'It is important that we diversify the residence halls to make Baylor the school we envision for the year 2012 and to give our students a real-life experience,' said Elizabeth Wallace, associate director of campus living and learning.

In 2001, the residence halls' mission statements were revamped to include a diversity statement. The statement reads, 'Campus Living & Learning also seeks to provide residents with the opportunity to interact and dialogue with individuals from different backgrounds and with diverse experiences. By creating this dialogue of difference in our communities, we hope to prepare our residents for meaningful engagement in a global society.'

Wallace said changing the way Baylor students view their living experience will take more than a statement or a change in the application process.

'Our office is going to have to figure out what questions on the application are pointed that lead to the certain trends in the residence halls,' Wallace said.

Within the next two years, campus living and learning will start to place more students in the residence halls because of their major and career interests.

'Many students of color at our school feel that they are intentionally placed apart from the white students,' said Frank Shushok, associate dean of campus living and learning.

Beginning with classes entering in 2004, students will see changes in the application process.

Another reason students may be segregated in the residence halls is because of their time of application.

For instance, numbers released from campus living and learning indicate that white students apply on average up to eight weeks before their black counterparts.

According to Shushok and Wallace, assigning students to residence halls according to when they apply is not the best decision.

Ramona Curtis, director of human relations, said she thinks the changes will take time but will make Baylor a better campus.