A Place to Call Home

Jessica Roster

Every year, a brand new set of residents move into the various residence halls on campus. This means that an original community – made up of different experiences, relationships and memories – is created throughout the duration of the school year. All of the residence halls together add up to create a campus dynamic of multiple characteristics where students live, play, and work. The Villanovan presents to you a collage of the residence hall experiences.

Sheehan and Sullivan Halls – better known as The Quad – form a city-like environment consisting of about 800 residents. It is a popular choice for sophomore housing because of its close proximity to the Davis Fitness Center, Dougherty Hall, Connelly Center,and Bartley Hall. Additionally, it is easy to meet many new people very fast because of the sheer number of people. There are always people lingering outside and strolling the halls on the way to class or off to see friends.

There’s a popular saying that that the Quad never goes to sleep because of all the activity. Resident assistant Kevin Woods states that Quad residents must learn to “juggle fun, close quarters and studies at the same time.” RA Marissa Yanos describes her residents this year as “studious but also extremely sociable.”

The Quad also has a reputation for destruction-it is not uncommon to see instances of vandalism or litter. This is possibly because of the amount of residents and frequent parties that go on. Excitement, drama and danger seem to characterize the living experience of Quad residents.

Past the Oreo, a group of four residence halls known as CASA-made up of Corr Hall, Alumni Hall, St. Rita’s Hall, and Austin Hall- surround the Grotto. Each of them resemble small towns because of the small number of residents in each building; coupled with the fact three of the buildings house only single-occupant rooms.

Corr Hall is the final building at the perimeter of the Grotto. Home to the Career Services office and Corr Chapel, the residence hall has its own entrance and exit, making it more private and less open. It too has a reputation for being quiet. Sophomore Cristina D’Averso described Corr as being very conducive to study that does not require leaving the room, even though the library is only a few steps away.

Corr, St. Rita’s and Austin halls all have a 24-hour quiet hour rule, though this is not always reality. Sophomores who live here enjoy the break from having roommates (though they often live next door to their best friends), but find these dorms inconvenient for hanging out in large groups. Additionally, these dorms feature a tiny percentage of freshmen who move in after first semester due to housing problems such as roommate issues.

Alumni Hall is the biggest residence hall in CASA because it is the home of the Service Learning community residents. Each student participates in three hours of service learning per week, which makes for a tight bond of a community that spends time on- and off campus together.

St. Rita’s Hall is across the road and is a small building slowly being monopolized by Campus Ministry. Many people use the Chapel and the basement of the building for campus ministry activities, which characterizes most of the activity there. As for the living quarters, they are very tight and require one to carry their WildCard to go from one part of a floor to another. Sophomore Maria Guida likes the fact the building used to be a mansion.

“There’s a homey feel to it,” she says.

Next year, the first floor will be revamped into an upstairs compartment of Campus Ministry. This means residents will lose their first floor lounge, the only common area in the building. Eventually, as more housing is built, Campus Ministry hopes to utilize the entire building.

Austin Hall is next to St. Rita’s Hall and also houses a small number of residents. Sophomore Leah Depue enjoyed living there for the most part this year. She remarks that a single allows her “to be with friends when I wanted to and also have my alone time.” This hall has a reputation for being quiet.

RA Brandon Eck describes the residents as “very studious, and already having close-knit relationships with their fellow residents.” He also thinks that Austin residents tend to be more sociable, partially because living in a single forces one to create a social life outside the residence hall.

RA Lynda Shim says, “My residents are very kind and considerate. They always ask how I’m doing.”

Come junior year, students have the opportunity to live in the apartments on West Campus. The group of eight apartment buildings plus St. Mary’s Hall are collectively referred to as “West.” Complete with at least partial kitchens and much more spacious living environments, residents enjoy the responsibility and freedom of living there. RA Andrea Beaupre notes that students there “know how to have fun without getting in trouble.”

Unlike many of the other residence halls, the culture on south campus isn’t limited by building. Because the buildings form a circle around the grassy knoll, students gather in the middle and mix with everyone, not just those in their hall. When the sun is out, you’re guaranteed to see people tanning on towels and listening to music. Sports are also popular on the grass, including Frisbee, Wiffleball, football and basketball on the courts between Stanford and St. Monica’s. Even in the rain, students love congregating outside and sliding down the muddy hills.

Students living in the learning communities forge friendships with each other and occasionally plan activities or dinners on campus, but that doesn’t keep them isolated from everyone else.

Freshman Richard Bognanno says, “Being in a learning community was a good opportunity to meet people, but it was easy to make friends with other people because of the friendly atmosphere on South Campus, there are always some people outside, just sitting around and talking. It’s a great way to meet people.”

Meal times are also a community activity. Because the Spit is the closest dining hall, the majority of students living on south eat dinner there. No matter what time you go to eat, you can be sure to see someone you know. Students say hi to friends and catch up as they walk around the tables looking for a place to sit.

What most students living on South Campus say they will miss the most is the strong sense of community.

Freshman Lauren Freidhof says, “South Campus was the perfect place to live as a freshman. It’s a welcoming and friendly atmosphere that made me feel at home.”