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Dunne and Flaherty Halls become two newest dorms

| Friday, August 19, 2016

20160818, 20160818, Dunnel Hall, Flaherty Hall, Michael YuMICHAEL YU | The Observer

The Notre Dame campus community gained two new homes this year, with the opening of Dunne and Flaherty Halls.

As these are the first new residence halls built since Ryan Hall in 2009, “this is an exciting time for the University,” associate vice president for residential life Heather Rakoczy Russell said.

“Our undergraduate residential system is such a treasured and distinctive component of a Notre Dame education — and here we are, adding two new halls to this unique tradition,” Rakoczy Russell said in an email. “These halls are set to impact generations of Notre Dame students, and this year will be very formative in the way in which these communities are launched.”

Each dorm features a combination of singles, doubles and quads, while Dunne Hall, the new men’s hall, also contains six-person rooms, Rakoczy Russell said. 

“Half of each first floor will be devoted to community spaces, centered around a two-story floor lounge, reading room, study areas and the chapel,” she said. “Additional community spaces include pass-through floor lounges on second, third and fourth floors, designed and placed to encourage gathering in community spaces.”

Flaherty Hall, the new women’s hall, features kitchens on every floor, Rakoczy Russell said, while Dunne houses one full kitchen and three kitchenettes adjoined to the floor lounges, plus food sales in the basement.

Additionally, chapels in both halls are visible from the exterior of the building.

“This signals that faith plays a key role in community building here at Notre Dame. Dunne’s chapel is named after Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C. and Flaherty’s chapel is named for Mary, Queen of Angels,” Rakoczy Russell said.

As a result of a pilot program in Lyons Hall, Drs. John and Karen Deak will be joining the Dunne Hall community as the second lay faculty in residence, Rakoczy Russell said.

“They will be residing in Dunne’s first-floor apartment and will continue to work to further refine this new role as it complements our hall staff and our many priests-in-residence,” she said. “We believe these generous faculty members will continue the tradition of ‘bachelor dons,’ [faculty members] who resided in halls at periods in the University’s history, and that the presence of faculty, both lay and ordained, will help our students thoughtfully integrate their academic lives with the formation that occurs in our residence halls.”

According to Karen Kennedy, director of housing, both halls received typical proportions of new transfer students and first-year residents.

“To fill Flaherty Hall, residents who were living in Pangborn, or who had lived in Pangborn before going abroad, were automatically eligible for room picks in Flaherty Hall, and other undergraduate women were able to apply to transfer to Flaherty through the interhall application process, which coincides with the typical housing renewal process in February and March,” Kennedy said.

Undergraduate men were able to apply to transfer to Dunne through the interhall application process as well, Kennedy said. 

“It is our hope that these processes, which were designed to ensure diverse communities in the new halls across a variety of demographics and to assist with remedying overcrowding in other halls across campus, have Dunne and Flaherty well-poised for the task of building community and establishing identity and culture in their first year and beyond,” she said.

Fr. Matthew Kuczora will assume the rector role in Dunne Hall.

“I’m most excited about the chance to build a brand new community from the ground up,” Kuczora said. “One of the most distinct things about residential life at Notre Dame is our dorm system. The bonds formed there last a lifetime.”

Kuczora previously served as rector of Carroll Hall and as a priest-in-residence of St. Edward’s Hall.

“I’m really looking forward to creating our own traditions that will last for generations of students to come,” Kuczora said. “A major challenge we’ll face right away is that we’re really starting without much of a base. I don’t see that lasting long though.”

Fifth year Tom Nye will serve as a resident assistant in Dunne Hall this coming year.

“A new residence hall offers a huge opportunity to establish new traditions, plan unique events and shape a welcoming community,” Nye said. “I am most looking forward to turning this new building into a home. I have greatly enjoyed my time in ND residence halls and I am hoping to make sure Dunne Hall contributes to the great legacy of residence halls here on campus.”

Nye said the Dunne Hall mascot, dorm colors and dorm government will be chosen sometime in the fall by a dorm-wide vote.

“This year we will be forming a new dorm identity with contributions from the many upperclassmen joining from other residence halls, as well as a large group of first year and transfer students. Each resident will have to bring fresh ideas and the best of their respective former halls,” Nye said.

Flaherty Hall chose their dorm colors last spring, but will chose their mascot sometime this fall, according to hall president Jessica Zlaket.

“I’m looking forward to the huge sense of excitement I know all of the girls are going to have — that goes for returners, newbies and freshmen alike,” Zlaket said. “I know that the dorm is going to be buzzing with energy and that makes everything easier.”

Zlaket said she hopes to create a community focused on spirit and sisterhood.

“I know that sounds really cliche, but when it comes down to it, my main goal is that Flaherty Hall becomes a family within a family and a home within a home here on campus,” Zlaket said.

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About Rachel O'Grady

Rachel O'Grady is a senior Political Science major living in Ryan Hall and is currently serving as an Assistant Managing Editor. Hailing from Chicago (actual Chicago, not the suburbs) she's been a Cubs fan since birth.

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