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Farley named best hall

Flynn, Janice | Thursday, April 22, 2004

Finest? You bet.

The women of Farley Hall have lived up to their nickname and have been named Overall Hall of the Year for 2003-04.

It was a top-to-bottom effort, ranging from the support of rector Sister Carrine Etheridge, to the dedication of hall presidents, staff and commissioners, to the enthusiasm of the residents.

The Hall Presidents’ Council chooses the hall of the year based on several categories, which include academic, social, athletic, service, spirit, multicultural and gender relations. Keenan and Howard Halls were chosen as Men’s and Women’s Halls of the Year, respectively.

Hall Presidents Beth Duran, Nikki Parker, Katy Ryan and Courtney Badgley, all juniors, said they were delighted by the news, and pleased at seeing their hard work rewarded.

“We just started off the year with really high goals,” Duran said. “I guess you could say our theme this year was innovation.”

This innovative spirit struck a chord with the selection committee, which was extremely impressed by Farley’s year, according to Hall Presidents’ Council co-chair Sarah Keefer.

“Farley had amazingly innovative ideas and strong outcomes,” Keefer said. “They had really high attendance at all of their events and had events that grabbed not only the attention of Farley, but campus as well.”

Farley’s determined attitude was embodied in their “Men of ND” calendar, new this year, according to the council. They credit Melissa Harris for spearheading this event after trying to start it for two years.

Harris was one of many dedicated commissioners praised by hall presidents.

“You can’t do it without the help of many, many great commissioners,” Duran said.

Farley kicked off the year with Freshman Orientation, and many of their year-long commissioners were on the Frosh-O staff.

“Those sophomores set the tone,” said Parker. “They showed how it was not un-cool to be involved.”

Pop Farley, the hall’s signature event, was a great hit within the dorm, generating the usual week-long excitement. However this year, the hall government extended Pop Farley to the rest of campus, inviting all students to a New Year’s Eve-themed party at Legends, a tradition they hope will continue and grow.

For many Farley girls, one of the favorite parts of the year was hosting the pep rally on Halloween. Over 100 Farley girls, including those who now live off-campus, dressed as Notre Dame football players. Wearing stenciled jerseys complete with names and numbers – some even copied the players’ tattoos – Farley residents did warm-ups under the command of a faux-Tyrone Willingham. They even contacted ESPN’s “The Sea-son,” encouraging the show’s producers to come.

But the year was not only about fun and spirit. Through the efforts of commissioners Theresa Davey and Julia Pearce, service became an integral part of Farley’s excellence. Farley’s service orientation caught the eye of anyone who attended the campus Relay-for-Life celebration in September. Farley’s table was decorative, centering around the theme “Farley’s Angels.”

Throughout the year, Farley girls drove to St. Luke’s School on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, to help the children with their homework and play with them after school.

Farley also stood out in the area of gender relations and multi-cultural events. They collaborated often with their brother dorm Keenan, including setting up a discussion on the bestseller “The DaVinci Code.” For Black History Month in February, Farley invited the First Class Steppers to perform, and the girls had their own step competition by section.

In the academic arena, the hall government organized “How to Be a Pre-Med Night.” Advisors, current pre-med students and seniors on the pre-med track spoke and took questions from over 100 sophomores and freshmen.

The presidents describe their rector, Ethridge, as “amazing,” and “a real trooper.” Her support of Farley events went above and beyond the usual, they said. For Farley’s “What would you do for Two Purdue tickets?” contest, Etheridge donned a wig and came up with her own act.

“She was so positive always, so high-spirited,” = Duran said. “But she never put pressure on us. If we would have lost, she still would have been proud. She really trusted us.”

Farley’s residents said they are excited for next year’s dance in the Main Building, one of the rewards for the hall of the year honor. They plan to spend at least some of the money on a new elliptical machine, to enhance their “struggling” dorm work-out room.

Overall, however, it was enlivening the day-to-day life in Farley that motivated hall government members, they said.

“We want to make the girls excited they got this dorm,” Duran said. “You only get once chance as president. It will be great to come back in five, 10 years and say, ‘Hey we started that.'”