Once referred to as Kreidlerites, the residents of Kreidler Residence Hall take the spotlight for this week’s Community Corner.
Pacific Lutheran University offers nine residence halls on campus. Kreidler Hall plays a notable role among these from a gender standpoint. Lora B. Kreidler was the first and only woman in university history to have a building named in her honor. She served as the Dean of Women and an art professor for more than 20 years.
After the building’s completion in 1957, the school initially appointed it West Hall. The university rededicated several buildings for its 75th anniversary in 1966, one of which was Kreidler Hall.
The architectural design, according to PLU’s Historic Resource Inventory, notes that it represents the national expansion of collegiate educational facilities occurring during the post World War II era. Kreidler’s design and structure are an exact mirror image of Hong’s, its neighboring hall.
Until a few decades ago, Kreidler housed only women. Kreidler now focuses on housing veterans, transfer students and upperclassmen s while also offering a comfortable space for commuters. The hall consists of single resident dorm rooms, intended for independent living.
Junior Devin Harrison, a Psychology major, works as a Community Assistant (CA) in Kreidler.
“The community in Kreidler is more specific,” Harrison said. “We focus more on transitioning them out of college or reminding them what resources are on campus they might have forgotten about.”
While Harrison enjoys his role in Kreidler, he admits it is more challenging to get students to interact with hall events and group activities than it is for a standard Resident Assistant position. The residents prefer more personal time, relying less on the community as much as students living in underclassmen halls.
Harrison clarified how Kreidler residents prefer the alone time, but generally seek connections with others by going out of their way to branch out and spark conversation. He explained how he loves that people always make an effort to communicate, even though they don’t have to.
“The kind of community I perceive Kreidler as is would be sort of like a community of squirrels. They might seem quiet or skittish but are tight knit otherwise,” Harrison said.. “They have an aura about them, like, they’re adorable in their own environment. It makes you want to go talk to them and interact with them.”
So what does the aforementioned environment look like? In Harrison’s mind, it’s the time the community spends together. He shared how, on a rare, cold and windy night in Kreidler, one may hear the cries of one Norwegian International student losing a game of pool to his friends. The winner’s anthem resembles the tune of Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” Harrison continues to root for his friend who continues to lose, hoping he will one day win.
The distinctive community aspects impacted another member of the Kreidler life.
Junior Kendra Wilson, a second year in the PLU Nursing program, also resides in the hall. Wilson’s intense upper level course load causes her to rely strongly on the alone time and quiet atmosphere of the single resident dorm rooms.
However, the community’s openness and sociability came as a surprise. Wilson enjoys the residents’ tendency to greet anyone they encounter. All these encounters give her, and other residents, a wider circle of smiling familiar faces to recognize around campus.
“There’s still a sense of community and belonging among the residents. The sense of warmth and I guess, homeyness that kind of draws people in when they first get here,” Wilson said. “I like that I can have my own space, but the sense of community is never lacking because there’s always someone to talk to even if you don’t have a roommate to do it with.”
Kreidler Residence Hall gives students the chance to live individually. After focusing in on this community within PLU, one can see how the residents give one another the chance for an ever-present community. A community which interacts with fellow Kreidlerites who similarly choose independent lifestyles.
“Feel free to come and visit Kreidler and interact,” Harrison said. “The people love to interact, and
they love people. They just also love their alone time.”