Housing Changes Coming to EWU


Photo captured by photographer Emily Powers

By Hanna Alexis Yulo, Reporter

Morrison Hall sits on the edge of campus, an abandoned brick building housing dust and cardboard boxes. Last quarter, EWU unveiled future housing changes that would leave buildings like Morrison Hall as a pile of demolished concrete. Future changes also include renovations for Anderson Hall and the demolition of Dryden Hall. These changes come in an effort to improve student recruitment, retention, and academic success in the coming years.

Due to the pandemic, the 2020-2021 resident hall occupancy was 555, a significant decline in comparison to the 2018-2019 resident hall occupancy of 1,727. In recent years, resident hall occupancy continues to rise with 2022-2023 being 1,190. Although the numbers bring optimism, the quality of housing buildings is still a cause for concern. A 2017 Mahlum report rated buildings Dryden, Pearce, Dressler, Streeter, and Morrison in need of a full upgrade or replacement. With problems such as building system failures and a lack of accessibility for students, EWU projects a decline in recruitment, retention, and academic success. 

Freshman Devyn Britton is spending her first year of college at Synyamancut and despite being built in 2013, making it the newest housing building, students like Britton still experience system problems, “It’s extremely uncomfortably hot in the room. Sometimes the heating will fluctuate”. 

Along with fixing system failures, Eastern also plans to take into consideration spaces that serve the mental and emotional needs of students. In response as to what EWU can be doing better in that aspect, Britton points out the lack of restroom options for gender-neutral and transgender students, “Because we just have a women’s and men’s bathroom. We don’t have anything for someone who is gender-neutral or transgender. I just feel like something to have like a middle ground would be very good. I feel like that’s important for our community”. 

Another problem that is laid out in the Mahlum report is the ADA compliance deficiencies for all buildings except Synyamancut leaving students with disabilities with very limited housing options. 

Morrison Hall is currently scheduled for demolition in Summer of 2023 with Dryden Hall following in 2024.