by Andrew Thomsen, Assistant Featues Editor
“I would change the reputation that it has; I would change that nobody wants to give Agee a chance,” Jordan Anderson, junior science education major, said.
Agee is the largest dormitory on campus, and was constructed in 1948.
“It is an old building, and it does have a certain smell to it, but once you get past that, it’s just a great place to live because of the people who live in it,” Anderson said.
“They make the most out of it.”
Luke Jarboe, a junior Physics major, lived in Agee as a freshman, and then served as an RA in the dorms during his sophomore year.
“Agee is called ‘The Brotherhood’ for a reason,” Jarboe said. “Some of the intentional relationships and bonding that goes on in this building is not like anything that most students experience anywhere else on campus.”
While ‘Brotherhood Dormitories’ was the original name of the building, residents in recent years have embraced this name again because it describes the community of the building so well.
“It is so full of life,” Anderson said. “You can walk down the halls and something will always be happening.
Anderson lived in Agee as a freshman, and is now serving for his second year as an Agee RA. In his time, Anderson has found that if people are not doing anything, then they are likely wanting to do something.
“If something is not happening, I can walk down my hall and ask who wants to go to Taco Bell,” Anderson said.
“At least three or four guys will want to go. That’s the community that Agee has, that no other place on campus, I think, can offer.”
While the community of Agee builds and develops each year, good leadership and vision help reestablish the atmosphere in the dorms with every new group of residents.
“The intentionality of our RA staff, the way that Francis runs the building, and the ideas of discipleship and the Gospel, lay down the tone for the semester and even the year,” Jarboe said. “We want to be about intentional Gospel conversations and we want to be about getting to know each other.”
Jarboe said that these ideas happen by various means.
“Whether that’s wrestling with each other late at night or going to Whataburger at one in the morning- it’s an experience that really grows you as an individual, as a man, and ultimately as a follower of Jesus,” Jarboe said. “For that reason, I think Agee is an unbeatable environment for discipleship and for growth in regards to the Christian man.”
Jarboe did not turn a blind eye to the negative community that can creep into Agee residents’ lives.
“Agee is also a place where a lot of unhealthy activity can happen, so it very much depends on if the student is willing to choose for himself good friends and mentors to be around,” Jarboe said. “It’s very much so a choice, but if good choices are made and the Resident Assistants are doing their job well, which I believe they are, then it’s really just an awesome place for good growth and bonding- it’s a good environment.”
Jarboe also pointed out that Agee is often underappreciated, despite everything it has to offer.
“I think that it’s sometimes underappreciated because of a lack of visual appeal, but the truth is Agee, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is designed for community- it just is,” he said.
He said the building may not be the newest, “but it’s the most community. It allows for interconnecting between students leading to long-term relationships.”
The availability for strong community building leads to many memories from Agee. One of Anderson’s favorite memories happened with a group of friends that he had established during his freshman year.
“It was during Dead Week, and Austin Hagler got the new Super Smash Bros.,” Anderson said. “So, instead of studying like good students, we played Super Smash Bros. for a solid eight hours a day.”
Jarboe’s opportunity to serve as an RA led to his favorite memories due to his desire to connect with students and his passion for the Gospel. He was able to help lead one of the guys on his hall to Christ as an RA.
“One of my favorite memories was having one of my buddies come to know Jesus on my hall- it was one of the best times in Agee history for me,” Jarboe said. “I am thankful for Residential Life, and the opportunity to have been an RA- to be able to invest in students’ lives was priceless.”
The community of Agee is alive in that it changes over time and from year to year, but despite the changes, it still comes together to become something distinctive, something that draws its residents to it.
“People do different things; it varies from year to year,” Anderson said, “But it still has Agee written all over it.”