By this time next year, there will no longer be a single-gender dormitory for first-year students at Pitt.
Holland Hall, Pitt’s only all-female dorm, will be co-ed starting in fall 2017. Amos Hall — which is home to 10 of Pitt’s sororities — is the only other all-female dorm on campus, but it’s not open to incoming students.
According to University spokesperson Joe Miksch, male students will live in Holland South and female students will live in Holland North. Gender nonconforming students can apply to live in Pitt’s only gender-neutral housing option in Ruskin Hall.
There will be no changes to the bathrooms in lieu of the change, Miksch said.
“The idea [to make the dorm co-ed] has been discussed for a few years, but the decision was just made recently … after looking at housing usage and request data over the past three years,” he said in an email.
Both men and women lived in Holland Hall in the 1960s, but since at least the 1980s, it has housed more than 600 women. After this semester, all incoming first-year students will have the option to choose the dormitory as their choice of housing for the 2017-2018 academic year.
The halls in Schenley Quad — Holland, Amos, Brackenridge, Bruce and McCormick — were built in 1924 and used to be called the Schenley Apartments, serving as residences for affluent Pittsburghers. The University bought them for student housing in 1956. Holland Hall was named after William J. Holland, who served as Pitt’s chancellor from 1891 to 1901.
Students had mixed feelings about the change Thursday.
Annamaria Cerminara, a first-year chemistry student who currently lives in Holland, didn’t have a strong preference to live in a single-gender or co-ed dorm coming into Pitt. But she said making the dorm co-ed leaves no alternative for incoming female first-years looking for a single-sex dorm.
“There are people who want to live in a girl’s dorm since it provides them with a sense of comfort,” she said. “They don’t have to worry about men being aggressive or spying on them.”
Chris Keppel, a first-year bioengineering major living in Sutherland, is all for the change. He said it offers more opportunities for students who want to live closer to their classes on lower campus
“Some people prefer to live on upper campus, but I know I would have wanted to live on lower campus my freshman year,” he said.