If you spent anytime living on campus at Virginia Tech chances are you ventured into Pritchard Hall at one time or another. Ahh, I can still recall the scent of sweaty boys and dirty laundry that filled the halls of Pritchard with a certain musk that was unmatched at any dorm on campus, even the athletic dorm. Pritchard was/is one of a kind, the largest civilan all-male dorm on the east coast.
Most people, by now, know that I didn’t officially attend Virginia Tech as a student my freshman year, but when asked where I lived Freshman year, I always reply “Pritchard” (accompanied by confused looks) but I have the parking tickets to prove it. My best friend’s had a room on the 4th floor, East wing of Pritchard, one of them spent many nights at his girlfriends which left an emtpy bed for me. Obviously girls were not “allowed” to spend the night in the all male dorm, but the RA didn’t seem to mind as long as he didn’t get in touble. When fire alarms went off at 3am, which was almost every weekend, I put on a hat or hood to cover my long hair. Guys would guard the door so I could use the all-male bathroom without being caught. We had some fun times in that dorm, me and my boys. I’m fairly certain that we had as many as 8 people sleeping in one dorm room once, many using empty pizza boxes as pillows. It was awesome!
I felt I was a pioneer for being a female managing to live almost an entire semester in an all-male dorm without getting in trouble. Now, all that changes as Pritchard is going co-ed! I never thought I’d live to see that day, just as I’m still waiting for the parking garage on campus, but according to the latest VT Netletter it is really happening. Here is the story….
“PRITCHARD HALL GOES CO-ED IN 2009-10 – Pritchard Hall, currently the largest all-male residence hall on the East Coast, will transition to a co-ed residence hall beginning in the fall 2009 semester. Pritchard will house a mix of 41 percent females and 59 percent males, a reflection of the gender balance of the student population on campus. Since it opened in 1967, Pritchard Hall has housed more than 40,000 men, including 1,016 during the 2008-09 academic year. The decision to open the building to female students was based on an increasing demand for co-ed housing and the changing gender balance of the Virginia Tech campus, with a higher number of females in the general population electing to attend college, an increasing popularity of Virginia Tech among female students, and a higher number of women choosing to remain on campus after their first year.“