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Hood College plans co-ed campus starting in 2003

October 21, 2002|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Starting in fall 2003, Hood College in Frederick, Md., will allow men to live on campus for the first time in the school's 109-year history.

The college's Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday for the change.

Dave Diehl, director of communications and public relations, said the move will enable Hood to increase student enrollment.

"We will better serve the Frederick community and the region by opening the college to men," Diehl said.

Men have attended the college since 1971, but they have not been able to live on campus, he said.

Talk of allowing male students to live on campus began as part of a planning process started by college President Ronald J. Volpe in 2001, according to a written statement.

Diehl said the school has enough room to accommodate male residents on campus and will not have to build additional dormitories.

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"We don't really have to do that much to accommodate men," he said.

Hood has an enrollment of about 1,700 students. Men make up 13 percent of each graduating class.

"We believe that this is not only the right decision for the college, but also the best possible action to ensure a strong, prosperous and exciting future," Hood alumna and Board of Trustees chairwoman S. Deborah Jones said in a written statement.

Diehl said some students have said they supported the change, while others were disappointed.

"There's been a mixed reaction," Diehl said. "There have been students who are disappointed, and there have been students who know that it was the right thing to do for the college."

He said the students who had expressed disappointment were upset that Volpe had said the change would come in 2004, but the Board of Trustees announced it will happen a year earlier.

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