Students across campus may have heard about the coming loss of the Campus Ministries House and may be wondering why. After some follow up, Dean of Students Casey Gill was more than willing to share the history of the lease on the property and the reason for its seemingly sudden dismissal.
In 2009, Wittenberg University’s Chapter of Chi Omega was closed and when the members vacated the house, Wittenberg signed a five-year lease with Chi Omega. This lease left Chi Omega in charge of general preventative maintenance and upkeep of the house itself. At the end of those five years, Gill went on to explain that it was decided that they would lease it on a year-to-year basis.
In the end, Gill said that based on the condition of the house at this time, it was best to not have students living there “until we think that it’s a good environment for our students.”
As for the students living there currently, they have the choice to either go through the general student housing lottery, or, if there are enough students with interest in another Campus Ministries House, then the University will look into the identification of another space for students.
Gill admitted that the only downside is that this will mean students will no longer have the large common areas where they could host events, so the University is working with the Pastor’s office to identify a location for Campus Ministries students to have some of those events and work to give them that sense of community.
Overall, the plans for “post-house” are still in the preliminary stages as the University decided not to continue the lease, at least for the next year.
Dean Gill stated that in the end, “it’s a really big house and it’s a really old house,” and the combination of those two things take continuous work.
She went on to say that there have been several things that have come up, including issues with the driveway this past year. The biggest thing is that the University wants students to be in the best environment possible and, being that the house is not technically the property of Wittenberg, they are unable to do what is needed.
Angelique Gabrielle, ‘17, has lived in the house for the past two years, and learning of the University’s decision at the beginning of the semester, she is worried about the living situation of her peers.
Gabrielle went on to say that as a senior, she “will always remember the friendships and community [she] had in the house. It was a place [she] can honestly say was [her] home.”