snyamncut: EWU's New Residence Hall

On this spot, bordered by Eleventh and Cedar Streets, stands Eastern Washington University's newest residence hall, snyamncut. This location used to serve as a parking lot for residents of Streeter, Morrison, and Louis Anderson Halls, but on April 2, 2012 ground was broken and construction of the new residence hall began. As the first built in over 40 years, the hall was slated to be mostly completed by June 6, 2013 and completely finished by August 19, 2013.

This new five story residence hall contains 172 rooms with a total of 356 beds. Room sizes vary to include traditional doubles, CA singles, and some triples. Floors two through five are dedicated to housing residents, and on each floor there is a central "core" that includes a social lounge, community kitchen and laundry facilities, and the elevators. The ground floor includes the main entrance and lobby, office space, a common room, and a terrace that will be accessible by residents of snyamncut as well the general student populace.

This new residence hall is a marked departure from the traditional idea of a dorm room. The corridors in the building are designed to be 8 feet wide to create a sense of openness and interaction, as well as allowing occasional seating. The hall also has increased flexibility in floor layouts due to utilizing movable pieces of furniture and efficient room layouts. Each floor on the hall has its own individual full kitchen, complete with stove, oven, and a full-sized refrigerator. The new washers and dryers possess technology to text students when their laundry is done to prevent the "laundry wars" that are a common occurrence in residence halls now. Each floor has two sunrooms that featuring floor to ceiling windows. The new hall was also designed to facilitate social interactions between students and to build a community based around living together as well as being more technologically advanced than the other halls on campus. It hosts its own wi-fi network and is geared towards incorporating new and existing technology to best serve the new residents.

Naming the new hall has been a long and frustrating process. Initially, the university was going to name it after the first donor who donated a million dollars towards the project, but so far, no one has stepped forward and the university was forced to look elsewhere for a name. According to Josh Ashcroft, Chief Housing Officer, the naming process looked for names from the Salish language to honor the history and legacy of the region. Three prospective names were picked and the new residents of the hall voted to choose the final name for the hall. This was the first time in Eastern's history that students helped name a campus building and it will usher in an exciting new era of growth for EWU.

"snyamncut" is the Salish name for "gathering." Since Salish words are not capitalized, the new residence hall follows that tradition. This new residence hall is meant to stand as a place of gathering and community for EWU students.


Interview with Chief EWU Housing Officer
Josh Ashcroft, Chief Housing Officer
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