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Residents say Cochise friendlier as co-ed hall

DAVID HARDEN/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Cochise Residence Hall is now a mixed-sex dorm, a change that took place at the beginning of this school year. Cochise also houses many students who have undeclared majors.
By Jennifer Amsler
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 14, 2004
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Since Cochise became a co-ed residence hall focused on offering help to undeclared students in August, returning residents say it is a friendlier place to live.

After Cochise Residenc Hall's switch this year from all-male to co-ed residents, hall leaders and returning residents said they see a more social, interactive environment.

Matt Cancio, a returning resident and a desk assistant, said since women residents moved in and hall leaders have focused on helping residents choose a major, Cochise has become a great hall to live in.

"The dorm has been infused with a new environment," said Cancio, a political science sophomore.

Before becoming co-ed, Cochise was an all-male residence hall since it opened in 1921, he said.

Cancio said he lived in the hall when it was all-male and has seen many positive changes, including more interaction among residents.

He said although there are still more men than women in Cochise, it now has a sense of community it lacked before the change.

"I used to leave on Fridays and Saturdays. Now I stay for the weekends because I like being here," Cancio said.

He said last year he didn't interact with his neighbors much and this year he knows a lot of people on his wing and hangs out with them frequently.

The hall has held many activities to unite the men and women, Cancio said.

Last week, the hall council sponsored an "event extravaganza," including activities for residents such as volleyball, ping-pong and pool tournaments, a barbecue and battle of the sexes games, Cancio said.

This year, Cochise is also geared toward students who have not declared a major, with tutoring and advising available in the hall.

Joel Michalski, the executive director of the Cochise hall council, said he hopes students who have undeclared majors can interact with each other and utilize services to discover what to study.

"Residents are on the path to finding their major," he said.

Doug Copeland, Cochise hall director, said the hall offers undeclared students tutoring and advising.

Four student tutors live in Cochise and offer assistance with many freshman core classes including English 101 and College Algebra, Copeland said.

An adviser also holds 10 office hours a week in the hall.

Michalski, an ecology and evolutionary biology junior, said sometimes men participate in activities more than women, but he is happy when residents take time to get to know one another.

He said hall residents kept to themselves last year and some of the residents were rowdy and disruptive.

"Now that the girls are here, they've toned down. They can't get away with much," Michalski said.

Michalski said he hopes to see fewer vacant rooms at the end of the semester as a result of the better atmosphere at Cochise.

"Many guys left last year with the excuse that there were no girls," he said.

Michalski said freshmen students often come to college expecting to meet many different types of people, and an all-male dorm is not conducive to that.

"Now the guys don't have an excuse to move," he said.

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