Thoughts on the changes to University Avenue
I am a first year student at StFX, and I live in Chillis. In light of recent events, the entire atmosphere of our living quarters has shifted. When I applied to St. Francis Xavier University, my first choice was to be placed in MacIsaac Hall, which I soon after was. Over the summer break when MacIsaac closed, my roommate and I were mortified of the idea that we would be living in an all-girls residence when we were subsequently placed in MacKinnon Hall. Arriving on Welcome Day, I can honestly say that I was terrified, and felt extremely alone. As I walked up the path to MK, I was overwhelmed by an abundance of love that I never knew was possible to receive from a group of complete strangers. Coming from a small town with groups of girls who are usually in cliques, it was hard to make friends who were the same gender. I say from the bottom of my heart that Chillis was the best thing to ever happen to me.
Every student who showed up to school on move-in day were more than likely feeling the same way as me; scared, nervous, and slightly abandoned. It is never an easy transition moving away from home, away from your family and friends, and everything you’ve grown up knowing to be a constant in your life. However, we were warmly embraced and ensured that we would be okay. It sounds like such a cliché thing to say, but I honestly believed it. Not once have I ever felt alone, left out, or unsafe.
Having MacNeil on our side, we all gained more brothers than we know what to do with. If I were not living in MK, I wouldn’t feel comfortable enough leaving my door open all the time, leaving it unlocked when I go to bed, or walking down the hallway in a towel. Living in single-gender residences make me, and everyone else feel safe.
We, as University Avenue, feel hurt, betrayed, and blindsided by the school’s plan to abolish the houses that have held tradition for so long, for reasons that are filtered to make it seem as though we are the problem. We are NOT the issue. The unaddressed outcry of angry and frustrated students made us all feel like our voices are not being heard. We will let StFX know that we will not go quietly, and we will expose and educate the population and society as a whole that having the option to live in single-gender housing is a positive asset to this university. We are planning things that will make the school know that we will not be silenced and will exercise our freedom of speech and voice our opinions, whether they want to hear them or not.