Following last week’s Greek life town hall meeting, Jacob Ternes, Fort Hays State University Coordinator of Student Involvement and Greek Life, presented details and information about the new residential housing plan.
Ternes believes the new housing plan will truly benefit the university as a whole.
“The university needs new housing. This residence hall will help to replace Weist Hall. Weist Hall will eventually come down after this one is built. So having new, safe, up-to-date facilities will be very beneficial for our students. It will be a recruitment factor for high school students that want to come to Fort Hays State. They may choose us over a competitor because of the brand new, nice facilities,” Ternes said.
The blueprints and ideas for the new residential housing have definitely changed over time.
“The architects propose something, we provide feedback, they revise it. So it’s kind of been an ongoing process. The hall has developed and changed over the last several months,” Ternes said.
Ternes also expressed how the plan for the residence hall has changed in order to appeal more to student organizations. Many houses that the groups are living in currently, are not large enough to house all, let alone half, of their members.
“At one point we were just talking about just having a residence hall, and possibly having fraternities and sororities live in that hall, then it kind of morphed into this idea of building that separate space,” Ternes said.
FHSU will be able to expand, not only will the area of the campus, but with the number of rooms available. Ternes explained how the themed housing will be one structure, but with four individual units within. Two units will have 28 beds, and the other two units will have 21 beds. Those different options will allow the student organizations to buy-in to the housing that is right for them and their members.
Many people think the new housing facilities will be just for the Greek life here at FHSU, but in reality, any student group or organization will be able to buy-in to the housing.
“A lot of people are just assuming that it’s all going to be fraternities and sororities. It’s kind of open to first come, first serve, so it might be possible for like an honors society to buy-in to one of those spaces, or the Chinese Association, or some other student association could buy-in to one of those spaces. They would have the same type of requirements that a fraternity or sorority would,” Ternes said.
Overall, this new housing complex will not only provide more rooms for students here at FHSU, but it will help students be active in their studying and learning. The new residence hall will have over 400 beds. With so many students living together, individuals are guaranteed to find students of similar majors and proceed to use their interests to their advantage.
“This new facility, both the residence hall and the themed housing will provide learning community opportunities. A group of students that have common interests who live together and have faculty members that work with them, can provide out-of-the-classroom educational experiences,” Ternes said.
Ternes is ecstatic about the anticipated housing. With his work with the Greek life, he believes this new housing will help the student organizations grow and create a better sense of community between the upper and lower classmen.
“I think it’s going to be awesome. It’s going to be state-of-the-art. It’s going to provide opportunities for those groups to grow, whether it’s a fraternity, a sorority, an honor society, whatever it is, because they’re going to be right next door to the freshmen learning communities, and they’re going to share a dining space with them,” Ternes said.
Ternes and his colleagues hope to schedule meetings with interested student organizations to answer any follow-up questions they may have. He hopes to help the groups make the best decision possible.
Ternes has been the Coordinator of Student Involvement and Greek Life since May of 2013.