Residence Life
Minnewaska Hall

 

Learn the history of the building's name

Minnewaska Hall is a suite-style residence hall in the Peregrine Complex, constructed in 1968 and renovated in 2018. Suites in each of the Peregrine Complex halls consist of two to four double occupancy bedrooms, a common bath and a small lounge area.

Students who live in the suites enjoy the privacy of their own "living room" and can personalize it (along with their individual rooms) with posters, plants, rugs and furniture. Residents are responsible for maintaining and cleaning their own bathrooms.

Common areas feature modern furnishings and decor that provide students with a comfortable space to study or relax with friends. 

In the basement of Minnewaska Hall are a laundry room with washers and dryers that are free to use for all residents, a TV lounge, a recreation room, a recycling room, a computer lab, and cooking facilities. The first floor houses vending machines, public restrooms and a study lounge.

Minnewaska Hall is home to a diverse, co-educational population, who are actively engaged in programs and activities. The hall is in close proximity to campus tennis and basketball courts, Peregrine Dining Hall and a computer lab. Minnewaska is a well-known across campus for its positive energy and comfortable atmosphere.

What’s in a Building Name?

Minnewaska Hall is named for Lake Minnewaska, one of the “sky lakes” on the Shawangunk Ridge overlooking New Paltz. The lake was named in 1875 by Alfred H. Smiley, one of the founders of the Mohonk Mountain House resort. The word is believed to derive from two words, “mini” or “mine,” meaning “water,” and “waste,” meaning “good,” from the language of the Dakota (Sioux) nation, which was not local to the Hudson Valley region.

From 1968-2019, the building was named Bevier Hall after Louis Bevier, an original patentee of New Paltz who settled in this region along with other original Huguenot patentees during the 17th century.

Early generations of the Bevier family, including Louis Bevier, owned enslaved Africans prior to the 1828 emancipation in New York State. During the Civil War, many Bevier family members fought with the Union Army, including Lewis Coe Bevier, who served in the 120th Volunteer Regiment, Company G, from 1862-1865.

Subsequent generations of the Bevier family demonstrated strong commitment to education and contributed to founding, governing and supporting the schools that would eventually become SUNY New Paltz.

The SUNY New Paltz College Council and the SUNY Board of Trustees voted to change the name of this and five other buildings in the Peregrine Complex in 2019, following nearly two years of research and inclusive dialogue initiated by President Donald P. Christian and led by the Diversity & Inclusion Council.

The process involved a broad constituency of students, faculty, staff, alumni, the College Council, campus leadership, and community stakeholders, including Huguenot descendants and Historic Huguenot Street leadership.

The Diversity & Inclusion Council ultimately recommended that changing the building names would position the College to better serve the needs of an increasingly diverse student population. President Christian supported this recommendation and advocated strongly for its approval by the College Council and Board of Trustees.

Consistent with our mission as an academic institution, a contemplative space will be created on campus (fall 2020) to present a more complete history of the College. That includes the history and lasting impacts of slavery, especially northern slavery, the contributions of enslaved Africans and their descendants, the history and legacy of indigenous people before and after European settlement, and the many positive contributions of Huguenot descendants to civic and educational life in New Paltz and beyond.

 

Read more about the building renaming process.

 

 

Complex Director: Johanna Levey
Office Phone Number: (845) 257-5501
Email Address: leveyj1@newpaltz.edu
Office Hours: M: 10AM-12PM, 1PM-3PM
T: 9AM-11AM
W: 9AM-12PM
Th: 1PM-2PM
F: 10AM-12PM

Meetings can be made by appointment. Please contact me through email or phone in order to schedule.
RA Office: (845) 257-5500