Former MU resident advisers unite to visit Hatch Hall

Friday, October 26, 2012 | 9:33 p.m. CDT
Former resident advisers from Hatch and Schurz Halls gather for a group photo in front of Hatch Hall Friday. The resident advisers, who worked during the '70s, toured the renovated facilities in Hatch Hall and had a chance to talk to the current staff.

COLUMBIA — Jack Brand remembers the costume he wore at a Halloween party on the MU campus in the mid-'70s. 

A former resident adviser in Hatch Hall, Brand was dressed as a conehead with another staff member, Dave McAllister.


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"We got a couple of highway markers and cut off the base," McAllister said, describing their costumes.

Fond memories, like this one, returned when Brand, McAllister and six other former resident advisers of Hatch and Schurz halls reunited Friday to see how the halls had changed.

After gathering for a group picture of former and current advisers outside Hatch Hall, the group went inside to tour the 6th floor.

Then and Now

The former advisers walked through the halls in amazement. The hallway is now carpeted and the floor plan looks different. The space that was once where the advisers lived has been converted into a lounge area.

When the group reconvened in the first floor lounge, the former and current advisers sat in a circle and discussed the changes. 

In the '70s, Hatch and Schurz halls became coed. At the time, men and women lived on separate floors. Today, the floors are coed.

Also, the former advisers relied on different technology to communicate while on call. Instead of the cell phones, they had the "bat phone," a landline phone installed on each floor. 

"A lot of the things have changed, but the general feel of the floor is similar," Brand said. "It looks like it's gotten a face lift."

McAllister, who worked in Schurz Hall, noted that the rooms look more comfortable and functional.

Brand also noted a change in the relationships between the advisers and their residents. While Brand's job had more of a policing role, the current advisers focus on building community.

What Brand values most from his experience as an adviser are the relationships he built with other staff members. He made close friends and still maintains those friendships. 

McAllister agreed. 

"I met a lot of good students on the floor and forged some lifetime friendships," McAllister said.

Supervising editor is Emilie Stigliani.

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Fritz Otweiler October 27, 2012 | 9:29 a.m.

My grandmother, Julia Lineberry, was Head Resident (Hall Coordinator) at Hatch from when it opened until she retired in '77. Her best friend, Ms. Haley (sp?) was the HR for Schurz. They were both older women, and they daily shifted between two roles as circumstances demanded: kindly "house moms" who might even sew your button back on if you asked nicely, to "old iron fist" who could cut the biggest football player on campus down to size with just a wagging finger and a corrective tongue.
Before Hatch was built, she served the same role in the McDavid group, by what became Peace Park.
When other kids visited their Grandmothers "over the river and through the woods", we visited mine in her apartment on the ground floor of a high-rise college dormitory, and man did we have a blast.
My parents were alums, and so on football Saturdays Grandmother would lay out the hor'doerves and we'd "tailgate" in style there at the lobby front desk and in her place. We'd be joined occasionally by an RA or two or by the saintly Bob Graham, who ran the Res. Life show in those days.
I remember in her early years at Hatch, riding my tricycle down the hallway. From the trike and my perspective, I know I couldn't have been more than four years old.
Despite the exciting times of the late '60's and early 70's on campus, it seemed my grandmother and the students always got along famously, and we never felt at risk; never felt anything but friendliness and love, actually. I recall being seven or eight and being "spirited away" by awesome college girls with bell bottoms and super-long, super-straight hair, taken by them to the cafeteria where they would pepper me with questions and let me fill up a tray just like the big folks.
Because I don't remember ALL of their names (but I do remember many), I'll just give out a big generic "Thanks" to all those RA's from all those years at BOTH Hatch and Schurz, for their kindness to me, to my family, and for the happy safety that helped give me unique childhood memories.

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