For those of you who haven’t yet heard, Balyo and Davidson are merging next year. Yep. Guys will be living on the first floor of Balyo, and girls will be on the first floor of Davidson. Student Life made this decision for a number of reasons, including the merging of the counseling and health centers, moving Casey Van Dyk, the Area Coordinator for the two dorms, into Balyo, and building better community. But I’m not here to talk about the reasons. I want to talk about next year—the result. One of the biggest reasons I’ve heard against the merging of the two dorms is the loss of identity and brotherhood/sisterhood within the individual dorms. It’s a valid point. Guys need “guy time”; girls need “girl time.” However, I think that what we are gaining by making this switch is something much greater than what we are losing. Although I’ve only lived in Balyo during my years at Corban, I have visited both Prewitt and Aagard, and have friends in both dorms. Something I’ve noticed about those dorms, as opposed to Balyo, is their sense of connection with their brother dorms. They actually hang out together—movie nights, game nights, Aaramark adventures, and more. It’s rare that we see such strong connections between brothers and sisters in Balyo and Davidson. Farrar and Aagard aren’t in the same building, like PVG, but they’re still known as a whole (Fraagard). This is something I desire to see for Balyo and Davidson—more community, more camaraderie, more relationship. (Sidenote: Not romantic relationships… I’m hoping this isn’t a ploy to get us all married off more quickly. Ring by Spring, FTW!) For the first time this year, the Balyo and Davidson RA’s merged to create one team for the area, instead of separate teams for each dorm. The deep friendships I’ve seen emerge from this setup have been godly, fulfilling, and fun for all parties involved. We are definitely more collective as a whole because of our leaders, and I think the change will only draw us closer together and make us stronger as members of the body of Christ. I don’t think this will kill the identity of the individual dorms. Rather, I think it will give the area a new identity. I think it’s completely possible to keep the Brotherhood of the Davidson Lumberjacks alive, while still building up the community as a whole. The Balyo girls will still be able to interact and have the time together we desire, while adding a new dynamic to the place we call home. The other argument I’ve heard in opposition of the merge is that it is unbiblical—it is opening the door for temptation and sin. There are several reasons why I believe this is inaccurate. The halls are not going to be merged, there will still be “guy floors” and “girl floors.” As well as having specific times set for open dorms, and lobby hours will change accordingly. Additionally, PVG has always been a guy/girl dorm. From what I’ve seen, this hasn’t opened up its residents to any more temptation than the rest of us. Students there are still seeking after God while growing in community with the opposite gender. 1 Corinthians 12:24-25 says, “God has so composed the body…that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” It doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that there are two different bodies of Christ—the male and the female. We are all the body of Christ. We have different strengths and weaknesses as men and women, and can help each other in our individual walks with God. I believe this wholeheartedly; the merge will help facilitate the building up of one another in Christ. There is only one thing that can stop this: bitterness. I can guarantee Student Life made this decision with a lot of prayer, discussion, and discernment. It will take some figuring out, and it may be hard for a while. But, it is up to each of us, the students, to make the best of this situation and grow from the experience. It is up to us to make the ultimate difference, and build our little community at the top of the hill, making it look more and more like the body of Christ was intended to.