Pennswood housing canceled

Pennswood housing has been canceled for the 2007-2008 school year.

Vice President of Student Development Bettie Ann Brigham made the decision in consultation with Vice President of Finance Wes Bryan on April 26.

The decision was made because, with the construction of Eagle Hall anticipated to be finished in the fall of 2007, there will be enough housing on campus to make renting unnecessary, according to Brigham.

According to Brigham, a total of 40-50 students is necessary in order to make Pennswood worth having.

The decision was made only after evaluating the housing situation for next year, according to Leah Mulhearn, Eastern’s housing director.

As a result of Pennswood’s cancellation, all resident students will now live on the St. Davids campus, according to Brigham.

Pennswood, located in the scenic college town of Bryn Mawr at Harcum College, about a fifteen minute train ride or drive from St. Davids has provided housing for Eastern students for the past five years. It has housed about 70 students this year, according to Mulhearn. One of its halls was used as an overflow housing option, providing students who registered for housing late or incoming students who wanted to be on campus an alternative living environment.

“We try to find options for students who want to be at Eastern, and so we contacted Harcum College which had space and opportunity for them,” Dean of Students Daryl Hawkins said. “We have always been creative in serving the needs of students who want to attend here.”

Pennswood’s cancellation has the potential to affect finances for some students, since Pennswood, while costing the same as having a room on the St. Davids campus with a community bathroom, while still having suites, did not require students to carry a meal plan.

“I am concerned for a handful of people who will have trouble financially,” Pennswood Residence Director Kevin Maness said. “At Pennswood we take care of each other, and we have a wonderful tight-knit community.”

Although most people were surprised at the recent news about the Pennswood cancellation, Maness was not.

“As soon as the new residence hall was planned, I knew we may not be around for long,” he said.

Brigham said that for the time being, the move was necessary and practical.

However, she said it is possible that, as campus housing fills up again in the next few years, Eastern may seek alternative housing off campus again.

“If housing needs come as a result of retention, Student Development resolves the situation,” she said.

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