Keenan wins Hall of the Year
Jack Rooney | Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Keenan Hall claimed the coveted Hall of the Year award at the 28th annual Student Leadership Recognition Banquet on Tuesday, where Ryan Hall was named Women’s Hall of the Year and Duncan Hall Men’s Hall of the Year.
Senior Keenan Hall president Kristian Hila said the honor was a tangible confirmation of the work Keenan puts into all of its campus events, especially the Keenan Revue and Muddy Sunday.
“It’s one of those things where it’s so nice to be recognized for being able to put on events that the whole campus enjoys,” Hila said. “We have a difficult task of having successful events that we need to maintain every year, so it’s nice … being recognized for that. It takes a lot of time and hard work to put together two great events.”
In addition to these two signature events, Hila said he felt his dorm’s attention to and cultivation of community resulted in the award.
“We want to make sure we reach out to any people that are having any difficulties and any residents that are having problems. We want to create that environment that allows them to come up and talk to any of us. We truly try to embody [Keenan Hall’s] motto of ‘being brothers in Christ.’”
Hall Presidents’ Council co-chairs seniors Brendan Moran and Cristin Pacifico, who presented Keenan with the award, said events like multicultural nights and a new freshman “knighting ceremony” on the Main Building steps contributed to Keenan’s designation as Hall of the Year.
“[Keenan] set lofty goals for themselves and tried to meet them throughout the course of the year,” Moran said. “Placing an emphasis on academics, community and faith, this residence hall displayed fantastic programming and created an environment of inclusion.
“A few examples of [Keenan’s] programming included movie watches, cultural heritage nights and collaborative work-out sessions. On top of these successful programming initiatives, [Keenan] seamlessly planned and executed two of the most successful and messiest and funniest signature events on Notre Dame’s campus.”
Duncan Hall president junior Michael Wajda said his dorm’s collaborative efforts and variety of programs inside and outside the hall led to a well-deserved award.
“I think it’s phenomenal that we won, and … it’s well-deserved,” Wajda said. “We’ve had such incredible community participation this whole year from our hall councils to our Bald and the Beautiful initiative, to the Duncan Classic. The guys in Duncan have really stepped it up and made the community great.”
Moran said Duncan’s collaborative efforts, responsiveness to student needs and events like their “Man Hour” speaker series and service initiatives set them apart from the rest of the male dorms.
“[Duncan] exhibited excellent programming initiatives that were very well-attended,” he said. “They also showed great collaboration with various student groups and organizations and other residence halls that created fun events to meet the needs of their residents
Pacifico said Ryan Hall sponsored consistent, well-organized events that fostered a strong sense of community within the dorm and in collaboration with other dorms and groups.
“[Ryan] showed their consistency over the course of the year by hosting a variety of thoughtful, organized and well-attended events,” Pacifico said. “They did a tremendous job of expanding upon the traditional events their dorm has hosted, as well as introducing new events and ideas that had great success.”
Ryan Hall president junior Tatum Snyder said the honor came from the friendship of the women in her dorm.
“For the girls in our community and the work we’ve done, this is just a great honor,” Snyder said “Our big thing this year is that we are more than just a dorm and more than just a community, we’re actually friends. And I think … we really expressed how good of friends everyone in the dorm is. I think the friendships led to this award.”
Moran said the selection committee for Hall of the Year bases its judgment on two components, Rockne submissions and 10-minute Hall of the Year final presentations. Moran said 30 percent of the final calculation derives from objectively judged Rockne submissions, with the remaining 70 percent coming from the presentations.
The Rockne reports provide a succinct and descriptive account of a dorm’s activities, which the selection committee breaks down into mind, body and spirit components.
“Rockne submissions are a snapshot into a dorm’s programming during any given month,” he said. “We’ve broken it down into three broad, main groups of programming. We have mind, which consists of academic events, multicultural events, body, which consists of athletic events … and then finally we have what we like to think of as spirit, which consists of liturgical initiatives.”
Moran said the entire process is “totally optional,” though every female dorm participated in the Hall of the Year competition, while approximately 75 percent of male dorms submitted Rockne reports and final presentations.