To on-campus students, there is a sense of mystery surrounding Pennswood, Eastern’s off-campus residence hall.
“It’s a piece of heaven!” said Kevin Maness, Pennswood resident director.
Pennswood is a three-floor residence hall located at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr. Eastern University rents the top floor. The building is shared with students from Harcum and Villanova University.
“It’s weird living with three different colleges,” first-year Khileedah Mitchell said.
“You don’t know who to trust, but you get to meet a lot of people who don’t go to your school,” she said.
Pennswood has a very diverse community, according to Maness. Along with the usual Eastern crowd, the hall houses students from Urban Promise and 14 Korean nursing students.
However, he said that some students feel isolated because Pennswood is off-campus and further away from on-campus friends and activities.
“I don’t like [living at Pennwsood], because I have to run back and forth to practice every day,” said Emily Davis, sophomore field hockey player.
The community of Eastern students at Pennswood is very close, looking out for each other by organizing car pools and shuttles to Eastern’s campus.
Interaction with the other schools in the building has not come as naturally, but there are plans for activities, such as a video game night, which will involve all the schools represented in the hall.
The rules at Pennswood are much the same as those at Eastern’s on-campus housing, with a few notable exceptions. Pennswood’s visitation hours are a little more lax because there is no physical separation between the guys’ and girls’ halls. They are literally right around the corner from each other.
Also, according to Mitchell, quiet hours have been instituted between 11 p.m. and 11 a.m. because of the usual noise level.
Perhaps the most notable difference is the fact that Eastern students are allowed to smoke on Pennswood’s grounds. Harcum College has a designated smoking area and Eastern students have permission to smoke there as well.
Eastern’s rules on alcohol consumption are still upheld, even though both Harcum and Villanova allow their students to drink in their rooms.
Maness said that Pennswood has always been tainted with “the stigma of housing the unwanted students” and late applicants, which may be true in a few cases.
“I’m here because the school messed up my housing from last year,” said Davis. “I was bumped down here because it was the last choice.”
However, Maness assured that this is not the case for all Pennswood residents.
“Many choose to live in Pennswood and are here because they want to be here,” he said.