Screw it, we’re ranking the halls
Letter to the Editor | Friday, August 25, 2017
Among many Notre Dame traditions, the extremely biased ranking of halls has been as old as the unique housing system. Many times, our personal rankings are just that: personal. It is a social faux pas to discuss why Fisher is better than Howard in front of a Duck or why you believe Alumni is a worse version of Dillon. Should these preferences of dorms be kept in the shadows? Oftentimes the answer is a resounding yes. One, it can be quite rude to openly insult the community so many people identify with and two, all our rankings will have so much bias based on who we associate with, where we were placed and our own experiences. That’s why I am saying, “Screw it.” Not because I’m trying to go against some social norm, but because this is not an okay topic in many senses, and I am throwing out all my inhibitions. Here we go.
That’s right, I have the Knights as the No. 1 dorm. You’ll find these rankings have literally no criteria except for how I generally feel about the dorm, so please don’t take these too much to heart. With that being said, you cannot deny Keenan has the most successful signature event on campus in the Keenan Revue. Along with this, Muddy Sunday would be a signature event for almost any other dorm, and that’s only secondary. As for anecdotal reasons, I attended GreeNDot bystander training and of the 28 people there, 25 were from Keenan. Good work boys.
Back-to-back girls dorm. Both of these have fantastic communities (I think, again I’m just going off what I see), and they know what’s good. Not common for girls dorms. I give Walsh the edge because of their renovation and their amazing spot on campus, but Lewis is not far behind with their amazing Crush Week.
I’m pretty sure O’Neill is the background dorm to my life. Freshman year, I lived at their off campus houses, and yet I knew no one in O’Neill. They kind of have some weird stuff going on with their sections being uber important, but I’ll take it because of the pride they give off. That bus is hype, too.
Two male dorms where, ya, maybe I don’t vibe with them all the time, but if you get placed in either of these, get excited. What I’ve seen, Fisher guys love Fisher, Dillon guys love Dillon, and there is something to be said when we go to a school like Notre Dame, which is the same way to the rest of the nation: You love it if you’re part of it (not always the case, experiences may vary). Dillon just gets the edge because it’s larger, and I feel like it. I’m making the list, you aren’t.
Two girls dorms coming in hot. I don’t necessarily have a concrete reason with BP being so high, but the people I’ve talked to about this seem to agree, so we’ll go with it. I love studying in their Pen, even if it looks kind of weird for a dude to be studying by himself down there. Unleavened bread, surprisingly tasty. Ryan has some great after-mass food, wheelchair basketball is fun, a large number of my friends are from there and I would be chastised if they were not at least in the top 10.
Best location on campus, don’t @ me. The quint parties are pretty good, but even if you at least know they happen, that’s a plus in my book. Their bus trip sounds tight, and on top of it all, their story of how they seceded is pretty hardcore. People in Sorin love Sorin, but to some people they are kind of irrelevant, so they’re a little lower than Dillon or Fisher.
When I made this list, some of my friends told me I had Alumni way too high. Others told me I had them way too low. I really don’t know enough about Alumni except their rector is funny and all the impressions of him are even funnier. Duncan, great dorm all around, except the Duncan bro stereotype can be true at times. I grouped them together because they seem like very good dorms, but they don’t give me the best vibes. I have to respect their body of work, though.
This grouping are all dorms that are pretty good but they seem to just have one big knock against them. Stanford is in Keenan’s shadow, Carroll is super far away and Siegfried cares too much about sports. All good dorms, all with some flaws. Their ranking within this group is arbitrary honestly.
Ooooooo, the controversial dorm. To be honest, I love Zahm. I think it’s super cool how everyone in the dorm knows everyone else’s name and they show a true community. They have a zoo for the whole campus, and they’ll protect that moose with their lives. The exclusivity is pretty annoying, though, especially when Notre Dame prides itself on welcoming. They end up right in the middle accordingly.
Dunne has no business being no. 16 when it only started last year, has no established signature events and really no identity. But that’s where I live, man. Those are my boys, go Sentinels!
This grouping is girls dorms I truly don’t know enough about. In my rough draft for rankings, I had Farley at like No. 9, and the people I talked to all told me I was crazy so they kept getting moved down through peer pressure, sorry. Badin seems to have a chill community, PW has Queen Week, which is one of the cooler things done on campus. Again though, they aren’t super relevant to me (and therefore the world), so they are lower.
22. Welsh Fam
24. St. Ed’s
Big block right here. I could go through the specifics why each dorm is in their specific order, but they are all so close in mediocrity that 20-27 is essentially the same thing. Howard might be better than PE, Keough might be worse than Knott, but this is how my bias skews things, although everything is pretty close. Keough gets up there because of their chariot race, and PE got Hall of the Year recently (somehow), so we’ll give them the top two in the below average conglomerate. McGlinn has no bearing on my life whatsoever since I’m not an athlete, and I once went in the wrong bathroom in Welsh Fam and scarred some girl, leading to their low rankings. Flaherty is a worse girls dorm version of Dunne, Steds will probably pride itself on being this low and Knott has no community to speak of (good grilled cheese though). Each have flaws and lack of quality, but the residents like them for their own unique reasons, which all blend together. So their ranking conglomerate reflects that.
I wanted to give a special mention to Morrissey because this could cause the most flak in my personal life. I lived in Morrissey my freshman year before transferring to Dunne. My experiences of that year reflect their ranking. At the time, the rector was awful, which led to a very secluded and not extremely welcoming community. On top of that, the facilities are the worst of any male dorm, so it was a no-brainer to leave. With that being said, some of my best friends still live there, the new rector — by all accounts — has made it a much better place to live, and I shouldn’t complain too much where my solution to the problem of the community was to leave. Anyways, campus-wide, people still think the Manor kind of sucks, so you’re towards the bottom, but I have hope they can restore themselves.
Not much to be said here, I lived right next to the dorm for a whole year and still know nothing about this place. They have an arch. Cool. I saw no one under it ever because I am pretty sure Lyons might be abandoned. Sophomores forced to take singles when they don’t want to? Sheesh. I have them as the worst dorm for a reason.
Well, those are my rankings, everybody. I went out on a limb here and sent this in with my name attached knowing I would be taking criticism, so you have to give me some credit. Don’t take these too seriously, I certainly did not. Everyone’s list reflects their own experiences and mine absolutely reflects flaws in my own judgement, I am well aware. Thanks for reading.
Oh, I almost forgot. Yes Cavanaugh, you are that irrelevant. A couple of my best friends live in Cav, and I still could not tell you something about them. I know someone who cursed out your rector at a co-ed rec soccer game, and that still gives me a chuckle. But unfortunately, you ended up here. Long climb to the top, who knows if you’ll make it. Don’t get your hopes up.
class of 2019
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.