On the west side of Western Michigan University’s Hoekje Hall, the initials of 27 residence hall assistants – “The Keepers of Hoekje Hall” – are scribbled in black marker on a third-floor brick wall behind the metal casing of a service elevator.
It’s a tradition for RAs who have access to the elevator that fourth floor resident assistant Samantha Marvin will be among the last to preserve. As sad as Marvin is about the impending closure of the dormitory she’s lived in for two years, she admits it’s cool that she could be the last to sign the brick. The oldest initials are from 2004.
Western Michigan University will be closing Hoekje and Bigelow halls, two of the university’s oldest residence halls, at the end of spring 2013. Both buildings will eventually be torn down to make way eventually for a new residence hall, university officials say.
“I feel like I grew up in Hoekje,” said Marvin, 22. “I met my best friend here. I’ve helped with a lot of programs; met a lot of people. Residents here are just chill and laid back. There’s a really strong community here.”