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East Meets West, Boy Meets Girl: UNC-CH Tradition Ends

Posted August 23, 2000

— Students atUNC-Chapel Hillstarted a new semester this week. But dorm life at Old East and Old West is a little different than it used to be.

For over 200 years, those residential halls were occupied by male upperclassmen only.

Freshman Melissa Bowman helped to kill that tradition.

"We were supposed to be in Carmichael, but we requested this dorm," she says. "I feel very lucky."

Inside the old dorms, everything is new, from pinewood floors and central air conditioning. The genders are separated by floors.

Junior David Sturco says the introduction of women into the dorms is a sign of the times.

"You find everywhere that traditions like that are breaking down. They are not part of the mainstream anymore," he says.

Bowman loves being part of history, and not just the new chapter she is helping to write.

"I just love all this old history," she says. "Just to know [the dorm is] one of the oldest buildings, it's interesting to think what all has gone on there before."

Sturco has a different take.

"It's always nice to have girls around," he says.

Convenience is a big benefit for students living in the old dorms. Franklin Street is an easy walk, and the dorms' proximities to classroom buildings allow students to sleep late and make it to class on time.


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