The Culture of a New Dorm

New Dorm, Shaula. Photo by Rakan Abu Tayeh, ’20.

As the percentage of female students increases every year, the school decided to open a new girls dorm, Shaula. The dorm houses 25 residents and is headed by faculty member, Holley Ledbetter.

There had been an idea of a new girls dorm in the school’s mind for a few years prior to 2019; as more girls enrolled into the school, there became a higher need to find females further accommodation.

The cause behind the creation of Shaula stayed in the minds of the dorm proctors and faculty as they established the theme, name, and expectations of the dorm; hence why female empowerment and inclusivity are two significant virtues that Ledbetter constantly emphasizes to the girls of the dorm.

“The vision for Shaula is one of inclusivity, kindness, and a shared excitement over one other’s successes,” says Ledbetter.

Nevertheless, Ledbetter acknowledges that the beginning of a new dorm is not without challenges. “Starting from scratch hard, but we had great models to follow in what Alnilam, Janah, Atair, and Murzim have been doing for years now,” she says.

The first step taken by the proctor team was choosing the name of the dorm, who around the end of the 2018-2019 school year, decided on Shaula. Shaula, like all other dorms in the school, is the name of a star constellation found by an Arab. It directly translates into the ‘raised tail of the scorpion’, hence the use of a scorpion as a mascot for the dorm. Following that moment, decisions regarding other features of the dorm became much easier.

In spite of that, moving through those early stages of the dorm was challenging, what with jokes of a colonized Meissa South and the stigma of a new dorm. However, Ledbetter now believes “Shaula is establishing itself with kindness in the landscape of King’s Academy.”

Going forward, Ledbetter is hopeful for the future of Shaula and its residents, “We want to be a dorm that sets itself apart from King’s Academy, but is still, very much, a part of King’s Academy.”

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