Brokaw repopulated for 2005-06

Lehnert, Corey

Lawrentians may be excited to hear that the infamous Brokaw Hall, closed last year when construction on Hiett Hall was completed, reopened at the beginning of this academic year to fill a need for additional student housing.
Associate Dean of Students Amy Uecke said the needs were multi-faceted. “This year, due to the amount of returning students and the positive results of recruiting the freshman class, the decision to open Brokaw was made,” said Uecke, adding that “students who had not selected housing in the spring lottery process were offered housing in Brokaw.”
As a result of this decision, the third floor of Brokaw currently houses about 10 students, with numbers expected to increase as the year progresses.
Although many students may know of Brokaw Hall only as the building that houses the registrar and many of the university’s business offices, Brokaw actually has a colorful history as one of Lawrence’s oldest residence halls.
According to the university’s web site, Brokaw was built in 1911 as Lawrence’s first men’s dormitory. The hall featured four floors of male residences and a cafeteria in the basement.
In 1925, the hall suffered a fire caused by firecrackers thrown down a laundry chute that severely damaged its north wing. During World War II, Brokaw Hall housed sailors in a naval training program who affectionately christened it the “good ship Brokaw.”
It was not until 1973 that college administration offices moved into the first two floors, leaving only the upper two for student housing. Finally, after having been closed for a year, the third floor of Brokaw has been reopened as a mixed-gender floor for upperclassmen.
Although many students are interested to hear that Brokaw has reopened, the hall is currently a far cry from its rumored recent past of wild parties and reckless abandon.
“It’s nice and quiet,” senior Zach Johnson says of his life in the hall. “It seems very secluded compared to the other dorms on campus.”
However, for some students, including junior Matt Fager, that is exactly the problem. “It’s too quiet; there’s nobody here,” Fager commented. He added that if he gets the chance, he will most likely move.
All in all, whether or not students enjoy their stay in Brokaw, the opportunity to live in the largely unfamiliar hall has generated a good deal of buzz.

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