Perry first female pres at Harrington

Laura Brown -The Aquinian

Residence house was first open to women in 1995

Emily Perry -Alex Solak/AQ
Emily Perry -Alex Solak/AQ

Emily Perry has something to cheer about.

Not only did she lead Harrington to victory at the 2009 residence cheer-off last week, but did so as the first female president in Harrington House history.

“I love competition. And I love Harrington so much; I knew I had to be a part of it again this year,” she said.

Located on the St. Thomas campus, Harrington Hall was built in 1964 in honour of former STU vice president, Reverend George Harrington.

The residence was originally supposed house only male students attending the university.

Harry Rigby, former Dean of Men at St. Thomas from 1965 to 1995, recalls it being the only student residence until Vanier was built in 1965.

“There must of been a couple hundred men attending the university during the mid 60’s,” Rigby said. “Subsequently, Vanier hall was built shortly after, entirely for females.”

The university’s female population has grown greatly since.

Shortly after Rigby left the university in 1995, females were allowed into the Harrington Hall residence.

“The university’s population has completely changed. There were very few women during the time I was there,” he said.

This year also marks the first time all five residences have female presidents, due to Perry’s win during last year’s house elections.

“I jumped at the chance to be a part of the house again. I was VP Internal last year, and learned a lot about the President’s position from that opportunity,” Perry said.

Perry, who has lived in Harrington for all three years since coming to St. Thomas, observed Harrington’s past two presidents while there.

“They were so enthusiastic and made you want to do stuff,” she said. “I try to make as many friends as possible, and keep my door open. I will do things different than past presidents, but that’s because we were all different people.”

Past Harrington house presidents have lived in the same room, year after year. So, Perry is the first female to call the room her own.

“I have been told not to ‘girlify’ the room. But pink’s my colour, and so I do have pink in the room,” she said.

Although she acknowledges the challenges that lie ahead of her, Perry is looking forward to what she feels will be a great year for Harrington.

“We decided to call ourselves the ‘House Team’ instead of separating R.A’s and House Committee. Although it’s just a name, I hope it will bring us closer,” she said. “I want Harrington’s reputation to be renewed, and to let people know that it is an awesome place to live.”

Majoring in Psychology, Perry links her time in the classroom with a day in Harrington.

“In Psychology, you learn something new every class. It’s so interesting,” she said. “Harrington is the same. I use the quote ‘Never a dull moment’ to describe a day in Harrington.”

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