A recent $1 million gift will help expand a cooperative living system that many former residents believe is the best residence hall option at Kansas University.
The gift, from Koli and Margaret Amini, will allow the university to construct a new scholarship hall. KU currently has eight scholarship halls, four for men and four for women. Each houses about 50 students, who agree to share the cooking, cleaning and administrative duties in exchange for reduced rates on their housing bills.
Amini, a former resident of Battenfeld Scholarship Hall, recalled his experiences at the hall during Battenfeld's 50th anniversary celebration last month.
"I've never forgotten about living there," said Amini, who also was the first Iranian student to attend KU. "Scholarship halls provide the best environment for students. By living at Battenfeld Hall, I made a lot of friends."
His feelings are shared by many current and former scholarship hall residents. The scholarship halls aren't as new as the residence halls on Daisy Hill, but they offer a unique opportunity to interact with other students. Scholarship hall students have considerable input in how their halls are organized and are offered the additional educational experience of learning to work and get along with all kinds of people.
There are several criteria for living in the scholarship halls, including financial need and academic standards, but the residents are, by no means, a group of stodgy scholars who do nothing but study. The size of the halls allows residents to get to know everyone they live with and form friendships that often last far beyond graduation.
Amini deserves KU's thanks not only for the size of his gift but the direction of his donation toward such a worthy project. The KU scholarship halls have an excellent record, which is reflected in the academic and personal success of their alumni. The scholarship hall system is a cooperative living effort that's well worth expanding.