The chances are if you’re a female who lived on campus, then you probably stayed in the St. Katharine Drexel (KD) residence hall. The residence hall is named after St. Katharine Drexel, who founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and later Xavier University of Louisiana in 1925. The first three floors of KD were built in 1965 to house its female residents.
The tan, six-story building has benches with a tree to shade the young men who work so hard to gain the attention of the residents of KD. The residence hall is known for its small rooms, unsanitary community bathrooms, and inefficient elevators. The first three floors, have one standard-sized kitchenette with a single sink and a vintage microwave, and two modest community bathrooms. The fourth and fifth floor, which offer the same accommodations as the first three, but with newer bathrooms and appliances. The sixth floor, also known as the “penthouse” by some of KD’s past and present residents features two lobby areas (one complete with two vending machines, sofas, and a desk, and the other with a large sitting area and a desk), a kitchenette twice the size as those on the first five floors complete with 21st century appliances, a laundry room, andenormous bedrooms.
“The residence hall used to only have three floors which housed 160 women,” recalled Shirille Perkins, the KD residence hall director. “We had an influx of women sometime in the ‘80s, so we added three floors [to the then three-floor residence hall] and now we’re able to house 352 women,” she added.
Even though living in a building with over 352 sounds dreadful, it isn’t so bad. The freshmen residents of KD appreciate what the residence hall has to offer. KIana Ridley, a resident, believes that living around so many women makes it easier to socialize and meet new friends. “There is always music bumping in the hallways and bathrooms”, said Kaelin Maloid. She also finds comfort in the casual interaction between the residents. “It opens up conversations in the elevators”, she added.
Living it what seems to be a sorority of strangers can also be beneficial to the wellbeing of the residents. “Being a resident taught me how to be considerate of other’s needs and to form a sisterhood”, said Jennifer Smith, graduate assistant for the Office of Housing. Denisa Williams, a resident assistant, appreciates KD’s central location on campus. “There’s always someone for me to talk to, like Ms. Perkins”, Williams added, “and there are wonderful RAs and a support system here.”