Although Headington Hall — Oklahoma’s $75 million, state-of-the-art residence hall on the southeast corner of Jenkins Avenue and Lindsey Street — is fully funded and maintained by the athletics department, more than half of its residents are non-athletes, per NCAA rules.
So what is life like for the traditional students who live in a stunning facility that was built for athletes? Here’s a look at what several folks had to say about the subject:
Stephanie Boyls, incoming OU freshman who will live in Headington Hall this year: “I wanted to live there because of the diverse community and the perks of the larger living space. I'd like to get to know some student-athletes and I absolutely hate community bathrooms. I want to be able to see the athletes as fellow students and not just stars on the field.”
Joe Buettner, OU sophomore who lived in Headington Hall last year, and will live there again as a desk clerk this year: “It was kinda weird at first, because growing up as an OU fan, you look up to those football players. It takes a day or two to kinda get used to, but they’re all just regular people. It was weird for me the first time I got on the elevator, and here comes Trevor Knight. He’s literally the nicest guy I think I’ve ever met in my life.”
Kelly Damphousse, Headington Hall’s faculty-in-residence: “You’ll see some people — I don’t want to name names — but there are some people who are just naturally open to meeting other people, and realize that because they’re pretty famous because of their athletic prowess, other people might be intimidated by talking to them. They will go out of there way to reach out to them. Some people are really gifted at being able to reach out to people and make them feel like, ‘This is my home, but it’s your home too.’”
Bryan Hinnen, Headington Hall’s director of operations: “The traditional student has an amazing opportunity while living in Headington to see firsthand the life of a student-athlete — waking up at 4:30 a.m. to go to workouts, coming back for breakfast and finishing a couple classes before a traditional student even gets out of bed. A day in the life of a student-athlete is oftentimes viewed by outsiders as easy or ‘the good life’ but in all actuality, it’s extremely hard and it takes a great amount of dedication to do.”
Kaitlynn Maddox, OU sophomore who lived in Headington Hall last year, and will live there again as an RA next year: “The athletes are just regular college students and they want to be treated like regular people.”
Brandon Terrell, OU sophomore who lived at Headington Hall last year: “It was a great experience. All the athletes are incredibly friendly; they don’t act above you. Headington Hall is not really a dorm; it’s more like a five-star hotel.”