Morehouse 5-Year Plan Sets to Revamp Historical Areas on Campus
Photo via Morehouse SGA Twitter
By: Bradley Morrison, Staff Writer
Throughout the college experience, students often remember the time spent in their freshman dorms, which they call “houses.” However, with recent changes made by the administration, the first-year experience is set to change forever.
Charles D. Hubert House is a freshman dorm at Morehouse College. It was opened in 1969, and named after acting president Charles DuBois Hubert. With every freshman dorm designed to align the students with people in their major, Hubert is known for its association with the arts.
After Morehouse unveiled its new five-year plan, detailing the changes to be made for student life, members of the student body were not pleased with the direction the school was headed. In the 2021–2026 strategic plan, Morehouse plans to tear down Hubert, White House, the Frederick Douglass Academic Center (FDAC) and Chivers Dining Hall. Current residents of Hubert are unhappy with the plan and conditions of the dorms.
The campus of the future includes a new student center in the location of the freshman quad (Hubert House, White House, FDAC) and a new residence house where the tennis courts are currently located. The parking lot will become the new campus green. Brown street will turn into a pedestrian walkway.
Inside of the new dorm, the freshmen will stay in one hall, while other undergraduates will stay on other floors.
The new dorm will be a “L shape” building with two bedrooms, common area, eating space, and breakout study rooms throughout the facility.
“I feel like there will be a hierarchy,” said Amir Johnson, a residential advisor (RA) for Hubert this school year. “Some freshmen are living in these newly developed dorms, while others are not, so everyone will be fighting to get into this space. It will be interesting to see if we are still going to have traditional freshman housing.”
He first attended a focus group on the development of the new building on campus. Then, he attended a trustee meeting to address student concerns.
“Having like-minded people around us was the reason I stayed in Hubert.” Caval Spearman Jr. said. Spearman is the President of Hubert House through the Residence Hall Council. “It’s two different mindsets coming together with upperclassmen and freshmen.”
Spearman works with residential advisors to foster brotherhood among first-year students. This is accomplished by throwing events such as mixers with their Spelman sisters and mental health initiatives where students can vent about their well-being during the mid-semester evaluations.
Currently, freshmen at Hubert and White are living in a transitional period. There have been issues with mold in the showers. A consistent hot water shortage has existed in Hubert all school year, and residents have resorted to walking to White House to take a hot shower. The administration has not provided a concrete solution to the current living conditions.
Photo by: Jonah Watts, inside the showers, the pipes have remained exposed, causing water to leak on the floor.
“If you don’t take care of it now, it’s going to be a bigger problem when it’s time to tear it down,” Spearman said.
The higher-ups in the administration have different opinions on whether or not these plans will impact student life.
“I’m sure things will change but but it will not significantly effect the traditions of Morehouse college student life,” Vice President for Student Services and Dean of the College Kevin Booker said. “We may have to look into buildings that were not traditionally freshman buildings and make them freshman buildings.”
Booker confirmed that Kilgore, Mays, and Robert House will be considered freshman dorms. He believes Morehouse has always encouraged change and innovation, revealing that DuBois House and White were not always freshman houses.
The administration is hosting focus groups with the students to gain insight and get suggestions for the plan. In its current state, it is not 100% clear if freshmen are staying in this building; Booker disclosed they are eyeing sophomores and juniors.
“All deserve an opportunity at a new living facility,” Booker said. “It will be more beneficial to sophomores and juniors in this new space because they have experienced Morehouse and have gained a greater appreciation for what the college has to offer.”
Due to the influx of students this past year, White, traditionally an upperclassman dorm, now houses freshmen. Known for holding ROTC students, questions arose in that regard.
“I don’t know what White or the ROTC structure will look like,” Booker said. “It’s all a process; we’re still in the discussion phase. We don’t know what the final look will be. Construction may not start for another year.”
This is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.
With the demolition of FDAC, the administration plans to expand study spaces beyond the ones that currently exist.
“There are study spaces proposed in the student center with similar small break-out rooms like the ones in Douglass and Woodruff Library,” Booker said. “We are examining how to utilize more space in Kilgore Center for study.”
In front of the school, there is a possibility that the bookstore and Brewed Awakenings will be replaced with office spaces.
Booker has remained transparent regarding the current situation of freshmen on campus. He believes that change is inevitable, nothing stays the same, and the school is working toward a more efficient look and system.
This sentiment can raise some uncertainty as Morehouse just admitted 2,000 students for their incoming freshman class. With freshmen gaining priority in housing, the struggle for upperclassmen has become a lot more severe.
Spearman and Johnson have both expressed being hopeful. They are hopeful that the new changes made by the trustees and administration can create the best situation possible for the student body. Only time will tell if the future is in good plans.
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