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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Echo
English Hall residents.jpeg

English Hall residents prioritize inclusivity, comfort

Suites become home away from home

Home: it’s a word that has a slightly different meaning for everyone, yet strongly resonates with many of the residents of English Hall, one of the two all-female dorms on campus. 

Likewise, some  may describe “homey” as an atmosphere of laughter and friendship, a place where gatherings and group hangouts are the norm or even wherever the smell of cooking and baking always fills the air. 

English Hall is known and loved for having all of these qualities. 

Sophomore Lacey Ogle, one English Hall resident, said, “It feels like a big house with a lot of different rooms, with a bunch of sisters, and if I don’t know them, they’re just sisters I haven’t met yet.” 

Sisterhood is a huge focus in English. An all-female dorm creates an opportunity for girls to roam on any wing or floor at any time and spark conversation amongst the different floors.

English has an environment where vulnerability and honesty are both welcomed and celebrated. 

One event that develops this welcoming environment is “English Tea,” which takes place on the first Saturday of every month. Discipleship Assistants cook and serve pancakes and tea for the entire dorm, and the hall director, Mackenzie Bedor, invites speakers for encouragement and reflection on growing closer to God. 

English Tea also represents  how the leaders and residents of English encourage growth with a strong support system found in sisterhood.

Inclusivity is a common desire shared among many of the girls of English; they aim to create and maintain a culture of comfort and ease of living with and for each other. 

“Everybody is kind of searching and making sure other people are involved, drawing other people into what’s happening,” sophomore Arianna Blakely, a Personnel Assistant (PA) on Third South said.

Whether someone needs help with their homework, an encouraging word or a place to rest, the dorm is set up with suites where residents can congregate together and share a common place of comfort. 

The suites offer the chance for every wing to display their creativity through decorations and set up. Every suite has a different decorating style, whether that entails flowers and hanging vine lights, or a more minimalistic approach with a few pillows and quilts. 

Junior Jackie Norris, a resident on Second North English, said, “It’s really cool to be able to enter those spaces [suites] and just talk to whoever’s in there.” 

The suites’ styles are a key piece of making English such an inclusive dorm because nobody has to go far to look for conversation. 

If someone needs laundry detergent or cooking supplies, most anyone is willing to offer theirs up. Rather than having closet sales, the girls put unwanted or unneeded items on ironing boards for anyone to take. 

Even through the minor annoyances like the lack of air conditioning in the summer, everyone comes together to make everyone’s experience better. Instead of bringing just one box fan for themselves, most girls will bring multiple box fans in case someone forgets theirs or just needs extras for the comfort of everyone on their wing. 

This is just one example out of many ways that English comes together, builds each other up and thinks about their neighbors. 

The definition of the word home may differ from person to person, but everyone feels it in English.