Baker 3rd has always been a floor full of interesting characters. When Hardy Hall closed, B3 became a female floor, forcing all the guys who used to live there to move.
By Isiah Huber, Contributor
Below is part of an email that was sent out on April 3, 2020:
As a result of Hardy Hall going offline for the upcoming school year, there will be a changes to Baker Hall. In order to accommodate additional females to Baker we have decided to place females on 3rd floor and 1st floor. This unfortunately means that current Baker 3 residents will need to select a different housing option for next year. Baker 2nd will remain a male floor. This scheduled change is set to be for just the upcoming year.
Even before this email, there were rumors from Hardy residents about the possibility of living on B3.
“No one was telling us B3 was closed down,” said Micah McFadden, a sophomore film major. “We were just having girls saying, ‘Oh, we are gonna be on B3 next year.’”
While they eventually got the email confirming the rumors, B3 residents felt like they were the last to be told about the switch. Many were upset and sent emails to Brian Jaworski, the dean of students, about the move. One student wrote:
Being on that floor has been one of the most valuable experiences for me in my life as I have been able to call those guys my family. That family helped me through one of the hardest times in my life, and they’ve grown to be my home.
Another student wrote:
I can’t possibly beg enough that this NOT happen.
“It was a double whammy,” said Jonathan Willson, a sophomore film major. “You’re not coming back [for the semester], you never got to say goodbye, and also, you’ll never be back [on B3].”
The news rocked the B3 community, who were already separated due to COVID-19. Group chats and phone calls began among the guys about where they would live for the upcoming semester. Since there was no space to hold them all, they not only were picking where to live but also which friends to live with or split away from. The majority of the 17 returning students would move to Baker 2nd. Most were upset that this close-knit community was being broken up.
The biggest congregation of B3 boys is only a floor below their old home. Baker 2nd welcomed the B3 refugees with open arms. Almost all of the B3 boys managed to make it into the same suite, aptly naming it “suite B3.”
“I was very excited,” Said Matthew Raman, co-RA of Baker 2nd and B2 resident since his freshman year, when asked how he felt when the news reached him. “They’re really knowledgeable, they’re really fun, they’re funny. They bring a lot of flavor to the floor.”
And they have brought a lot to the floor. Not only do they have a suite that goes above and beyond all the others in terms of decoration, but they also brought a few games with them as well.
In “The Game,” participants try to take photos of one another without their victims knowing to get points. They call this action “sniping.” Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins.
Sock wrestling is a another game B3 brought to B2. Two people leave only one sock on their feet. The only rule in sock wrestling is that you have to pull your opponent’s sock off to win. Everything else is chaos.
“I kind of panicked,” said Isaac Hannagan, a junior film production major and the other co-RA of B2. “I was trying to figure out where to go and [was] trying to make plans with all my friends so that we could all stay together.”
Hannagan lived on B3 since freshman year and has sort of become the B3 Represenitive on B2 for RA dealings.
“I have had a very positive experience on B2,” said Willson. “It’s not the same culture, but I think a healthy mix has occurred. B2 has been a great home to us.”
The “Baker boys” who went to Wright, which has the smallest concentration of B3 boys on campus, broke away from the rest of the crowd and joined other friends.
“I was kind of hoping that I could get some of them to come to Wright with me,” said Joseph Landon, a senior animation major. “I already had a bunch of friends here on Wright 2nd, so I was thinking maybe combine the best of two floors.”
Landon wouldn’t get his dream to come true, but he had a friend who was in need of a roommate. So to spare his friend the process of having a stranger assigned as his roommate, Landon decided to go to Wright anyway.
“B3-group chat started kind of exploding because people were very much up in arms about it,” said Landon. “[Things] kept on stacking up and getting worse.”
Landon talked about a fond memory he had of B3 toward the end of its time last year, when COVID-19 was just starting in the news, and how everyone was joking it was going to come here.
“Sean, our CMC at the time, had a thing of Clorox wipes in his room, and it became the sought after object,” said Landon. “We had a dorm war over it.”
All the members of the suite had piled the suite furniture toward the entrance to barricade it. Members of both the defending and attacking parties were holding foam swords, ready to do battle with one another.
“It was a very fun time,” said Landon.
Landon doesn’t live with any B3 boys anymore, but has found a community with a group of friends on his floor. They get along well.
“If you’re looking from a housing management standpoint, you’re looking at where are those beds,” said Jaworski. “It became a puzzle. What piece can fit where?”
Jaworski said he had less than 50 people to find housing for when Hardy shutdown. With all the factors involved, B3 seemed like the best option.
“There was a path of least resistance,” said Jaworski. “Did it mean displacing some guys? It did.”
This was a tough decision, and it’s unfortunate that so many students had to lose their communities and find another place to live. As a way to help Hardy and B3 students stay with their friends, they were allowed to do room draw before the rest of campus.
Willson and McFadden say they understand that these are incredibly difficult decisions made by faculty, and in hindsight, think they would of reacted different. But they still say they would of done something because of how valuable B3’s culture is to them.
This wasn’t supposed to be the end of B3. Willson and McFadden planned to reinstate B3 as an on-campus community.
McFadden and Willson were applying for the RA position for B3 and were hearing from RD’s that B3 and Hardy would be opening up again.
“If we both apply for RA, we could kind of recreate and create this new culture to B3” said McFadden. “We knew there wasn’t going to be any [other] originals from B3. We’re gonna be able to grow a community that had no experience with Huntington.”
But then, shortly following an email Jaworski sent to the student body stating that Hardy would be offline for the 2021-2022 school year, Lauren Frischman, RD of Baker/Roush sent out an email to all her residents.
Hopefully by now you have read Dr. Jaworski’s email regarding room selection for next school year. To echo his message, Hardy Hall will be closed for female students next school year. Because of this, Baker Hall will continue with its current format:
Baker 1st – Female
Baker 2nd – Male
Baker 3rd – Female
“I think I speak for both of us when I say, we’re still really bummed,” said Willson, just hours after reading the email.
With the majority of the former B3 residents leaving B2 (most of them going to Forester Village), and the B3 floor being a woman’s floor once again, the hope of re-sparking the community B3 had and letting it thrive has gone.
“We thought we could make a really cool culture there and a really cool environment and just really grow something that was sweet and bring back what we loved about our freshman year,” said McFadden. “But that’s not gonna happen.”