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A hard pill to swallow

Swallow needs a consistent hall director

By Kristina Rivera | Contributor

Photograph by Luke A. Wildman

As this school year ends, Swallow Robin residents must again face the fact that we’ll have a new hall director next year. Since this position is filled by a MAHE student, we gain a new one every two years. Many competent MAHE students have filled the position, but, for us who live in Swallow, it means constant change.

Many Taylor students stay in the same hall for all four years of their college journey. Because of irregular changes in Swallow’s management, if one of this year’s freshmen stays in Swallow all four years, he or she will experience three different hall directors and two interim hall directors, since second-year MAHE students leave on trips at the end of the fall semester. Due to Swallow’s small size, we have a strong sense of family. This stretches between the co-ed floors and includes the maintenance staff. Each person plays a vital role in our culture, including the hall director. Part of his or her role is to pour into and help guide PAs. But if that role constantly changes, the vision, traditions and culture of the hall continually change as well.

“There needs to be a place of stability,” says Ashley Miley, a senior who has been living in Swallow since her freshman year. “Last year, I was the only returning person in a leadership position, and it caused a lot of change in rules, traditions and just the way Swallow was run.”

We pay the same cost for room and board as residents of other halls yet do not feel valued in the same way. Except for Gerig, which shares a hall director with Breuninger, all other traditional residence halls have regular hall directors, not MAHE students. Gerig and Swallow may be small, but this doesn’t mean we should be valued less than other dorms. As a Swallow resident, I sometimes feel as if my hall is an experiment to see whether the MAHE students can do well. We’re not paying to be Taylor’s guinea pigs. We matter.

This year is Swallow’s 100th birthday. That’s 100 years of history, tradition and culture being lost amid frequent change. Many alumni and former faculty members identify Swallow Robin as originating some of the traditions they remember most from their Taylor days. These individuals include Jeff Wallace, Jay Kesler, Dereck Kamwesa and Steve Austin. Thanks to rapid turnover and change, those traditions are in danger.

This year, Swallow Robin deserves a new kind of change: Taylor should prioritize us. So to all of you students, alumni, faculty and staff: please stand with Swallow Robin. Give us the 100th birthday present we deserve.

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