Nia Pellone/Staff Photographer

Hinman College’s Lehman Hall will have a new atmosphere come next semester, after it is converted from break housing to a quiet-living residence.

The announcement was made by Grace Hoefner, senior associate director of housing and crisis management, at a Lehman Hall meeting on Feb. 13.

Beginning in fall 2012, Lehman will be home to a quiet-living hall, which practices 24-hour quiet hours year-round, and will also contain a chem-free floor. Chem-free living is an environment where all staff, residents and their guests agree to not use alcohol and illegal drugs, cigarettes and other smoking materials at all times, both on and off campus.

Lehman is currently the only break-housing hall in Hinman, but will no longer serve that function.

Though some are unhappy about the decision to rid Lehman of its position as break housing, others look forward to more quiet-living and chem-free living options on campus.

“There is a general need for more quiet living on lower campus, so across campus people will be happy,” said Billy Decker, a resident assistant in Lehman and a junior majoring in chemistry.

International students, out-of-state students and athletes are the only students who request break housing, although other students can be placed there. According to Hoefner, there are more break-housing beds than there are break-housing students, but there is excess demand for quiet and chem-free dorms.

“We didn’t have the number of beds available for all the students who in the past expressed an interest in either quiet living or chem free,” Hoefner said.

Melissa Foster, an RA in Lehman and a junior double-majoring in biology and philosophy, said Lehman’s current break housing is a problem for both students who request it and the ones who do not.

“A lot of students who do not need break housing are being placed in break housing,” Foster said. “People are complaining because they have to pay extra.”

Foster added that there are currently no quiet halls offered on lower campus.

“There is no quiet living on lower campus except the Susquehanna [Community] apartments, but they are more isolated,” she said. “I’m studying for my MCATs this semester; people studying for big exams want quieter living.”

During the Lehman Hall meeting, students raised questions about where they could find break housing with costs equal or similar to Hinman.

“Mohawk will be the least expensive and Delaware will be the most expensive,” Hoefner said, referring to buildings in College-in-the-Woods and Newing College, respectively. “The difference this year between a room in Lehman and a room in Mohawk is a mere $38 per semester.”

Lehman will become the first Hinman hall to have quiet living.

“Having a traditional quiet-living hall is an ‘experiment’ in that we have never had one before, but students have expressed interest in it.” Hoefner said.

Students requested that Lehman become a quiet-living hall with the option of chem-free living, according to Hoefner.

“The choice was a [Residential Life] decision,” Hoefner said. “But the decision about the ‘lifestyle’ was made by students in that we didn’t have enough students interested in break housing to keep Lehman Hall open as break housing.”

Break students currently in Lehman will be eligible for the “displaced” priority, which they can use when signing up for housing for next semester. Students will need to complete a break housing application, after which they will be placed in Windham Hall in Mountainview College, Mohawk Hall in College-in-the-Woods or Delaware Hall in Newing College, by March 1.

Hillside and Susquehanna communities provide break housing as well. Students must participate in the online housing sign-up process to select a room in those communities.