NEW ORLEANS (Oct. 3, 2013) Eight years after Hurricane Katrina drowned Dillard and much of the rest of New Orleans, all of Dillard’s “on-campus” students are really on-campus.
Hartzell Hall was the last dorm to reopen Sept. 26, following the August openings of the newly renovated Camphor and Straight halls, according to Dr. Demetrius Johnson, dean of students and director of residential life. The new dorms feature new security features, lounges and swipe cards for access.
The DUALS and Elysian Fields residential halls off-campus have been closed.
All told, 490 students are living on campus, including 344 women and 146 men, Johnson said. Hartzell houses males while Camphor, Williams and Hartzell are female housing. Johnson said the 135 females who moved into Williams Hall in August were due to move into Hartzell when it opened Sept. 26.
Johnson said it took so long to get the residence halls up and running because of the extent of the damage from Katrina and the red tape involved in receiving the renovation funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Now that students in DU housing live in closer proximity, students speak of a livelier atmosphere on campus – more students being outside, students playing football, girls chatting – that provides more of a college experience.
Dereck Alexander, a sophomore public health major from Kenner, said having everyone back on campus is great because he gets to socialize with people from all classifications, not just sophomores. He said the Kearny parties are better, more people are showing up for the volleyball games and making friends is easier.
William Broussard, a sophomore biology major from Shreveport, lives in Straight Hall. He said he feels safer with swipe cards for access; he said the rooms are nice and comfy, and the water pressure feels amazing when he showers. Campus life is much better this semester, he added.
(Kandice Lebeauf contributed to this report.)