Worth House residents all female, barely international

by Carrie Myers

After housing freshmen for a year, Worth House was supposed to go international.

That is, the residence hall was intended to become a place where international students, domestic students, students who have studied abroad and students who are interested in international cultures could live together.

That didn’t happen. Only three international students are in the house, and the rest of the building is housing women, mostly sophomores.

Despite the initial lack of interest, Worth House will remain a residence hall for international and American students interested in expanding their knowledge of different cultures around the world.

“The program will take time to grow, and it’s not progressing as quickly as we had hoped,” said Director of Housing Mandy Fox. “It’s a good idea and we will continue to pursue this worthy endeavor.”

Fox said last year Simpson advertised Worth House as a residence hall for international and American students who wanted to learn about each other’s cultures. Fox added that Simpson thought it would be appealing to students studying foreign language and those who go abroad.

But to students, the aim for diversity may have gone unnoticed.

“I didn’t know it was supposed to be a multicultural residence hall,” sophomore Carla Riherd said. “It’s nice living here thought because it’s quiet.”

Fox is not sure why there is such a lack of interest in Worth, but she believes it’s because Worth is a traditional hall, like Kresge and Barker.

To differentiate Worth from other halls, there are two language assistants living in the house. There are also plans to add a brand new kitchen in the basement which Fox hopes will make Worth House different from other halls, and therefore, more appealing.

Walter Lain, assistant dean for multicultural and international affairs, agreed with Fox.

“Students don’t want to be forced into a living environment,” Lain said. “It’s also competitive and theme houses or apartments may be more conducive to student needs.”

Lain said the cultural diversity on campus could be better, but it’s always improving. This year there are students from 23 different countries at Simpson. To expand the diversity, there has been discussion on giving scholarships to international students coming to Simpson.