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Coed era dawning at Hood

November 04, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND
(Page 3 of 3)

More than half of the approximately 1,700 students now enrolled at Hood are graduate students, who fill classes at a student-to-teacher ratio of about 20:1, according to the college's Web site.

Hood administrators, students and faculty members will work together this year to craft the changes and enhancements that must be made to the school's residential policies, student activities, wellness services and athletics programs in order to accommodate male residential students, Volpe said.

All students are encouraged to participate in this process, Johnson added.

"This isn't only an opportunity to look at policies that need to be adjusted for me, it's a chance to give a face-lift to antiquated policies," she said. "Dean White is completely dedicated to getting student input. This is definitely the time to speak up."

The admission of more male students is not expected to substantially change the format of academic programs at Hood, which offers a fairly comprehensive range of majors. Those include programs that have traditionally attracted male students in other colleges, Volpe said.

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Male professors comprise 40 percent of Hood's full-time faculty.

Volpe does expect to hire more instructors for courses to be added in the areas of athletics and sports medicine, studio art and public relations and marketing, he said.

Health services for men may require an additional examining room and perhaps a male nurse or physician and/or a male therapist, Volpe said.

It might be necessary to add male resident support persons, who live in the halls and are available for mediation, general student concerns and programming purposes, he said.

Honor code


Some female Hood residents have expressed concern that the inclusion of men in the dorms will prompt major changes to the honor code under which students now live and learn. Through the honor system, all members of the college assume the obligation to maintain the principles of honesty, responsibility and intellectual integrity in all student activities.

Volpe shared the same worry when women were admitted to the residence halls at his formerly all-male school, he said. Yet men and women alike adhered to the honor code.

"I see no reason we can't live under an adjusted honor code that involves men," Johnson said. "Honor is honor."

New coaches will also be hired for two new intercollegiate women's sports - cross country and golf - and up to five NCAA Division III men's sports - golf, cross country, basketball, swimming and tennis - that will be added next year, Volpe said.

The college plans to add men's lacrosse and soccer teams for the 2004-05 academic year.

The college's total academic offerings and services will also be scrutinized so courses and services can be cut, modified or added as deemed necessary to effectively meet students' changing educational and residential needs, Volpe said.

The college is now selling several Magnolia Avenue buildings which have outlived their usefulness and proceeds from the property sales will help pay for newer facilities and services, he said.

Johnson sees the recent opening of Hood's $20 million Hodson Science and Technology as a window of opportunity that new students' educational interests and tuition dollars will only open wider.

"We have a new science center and a hospital nearby," she said. "Why not a nursing program?"

The possibilities for the longtime women's college are endless, she said. But football?

"If we get enough boys on campus," Johnson said, "I say let's play ball."

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