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McGlinn residents, rector discuss developing community and Hall of the Year

| Wednesday, April 24, 2019

McGlinn Hall was named the 2018-2019 Hall of the Year, the first time it has been named Hall of the Year since its establishment in 1997. Sophomore and dorm vice president Isabella Schmitz said McGlinn has come a long way in recent years.

“When I first arrived at ND I think they had gotten like last place in all of the Hall of the Year stuff, but then last year we got most improved, and this year we won it all,” Schmitz said.

Junior and former dorm president Colleen Ballantyne said this year McGlinn made an effort to reach outside the dorm by planning events with Keough Hall and Lyons Hall, their brother and sister dorms.

“Last year was a lot of building our community more internally after a year where our hall council didn’t do as much to really build that community,” Ballantyne said. “This past year we were able to focus on letting the McGlinn community shine throughout campus and even sometimes off campus.”

McGlinn’s signature event, Casino Night, was also incredibly successful this year, Schmitz said.

“Our event coordinator got all the McGlinn girls really excited about making it as best as it could be,” Schmitz said. “She set a goal for us and said we need to make more money than we ever have, and people were excited by that.”

Ballantyne said the dorm broke its record by raising $3,150 for St. Adalbert Catholic School in South Bend. McGlinn sends students to tutor at the school every weekday.

Rector Sister Mary Lynch said the dorm’s relationship with St. Adalbert began during the first few years in her job as rector of McGlinn, a position she took on in 2005.

“I wanted someplace in South Bend where the students could actually go and be there and help and do service,” Lynch said.

McGlinn sought to improve their dorm’s sustainability this year through a partnership with the Office of Sustainability and TerraCycle, an organization that collects non-recyclable waste and partners with corporate donors to turn it into raw material to be used in new products.

“We’ve only been doing it for about two months now, but we’ve been able to collect a ton of stuff that otherwise would’ve been going to the landfills,” Ballantyne said. “We’re hoping to work with the Office of Sustainability to branch this out throughout campus in the near future.”

McGlinn also prides itself on their interhall sports participation. The hall has held the Kelly Cup since 2010-2011, which Ballantyne said is largely due to the hall’s unofficial official motto: McGlinn never forfeits. The Kelly Cup is for the overall women’s interhall sports championship, and is awarded based off of interhall participation and performance.

“My thing is that, first of all, interhall sports are to help relieve stress, so I don’t want any stress in trying to win the Kelly Cup,” Lynch said.  The second thing is, I always tell them, if we say we’re gonna put a team on the field, we put a team out, so no forfeiting.”

An unexpected event this year that brought the McGlinn community together was Lynch’s cancer diagnosis in the fall.

“I think the way the women here responded and rallied around me, and how we were still able to continue all the programs hall government and hall council had planned — things went along pretty much as normal — was one of the main reasons for winning Hall of the Year,” Lynch said.

The dorm organized a spreadsheet where people could sign up to bring Lynch dinner from the dining hall as she could not eat there among so many people.

“The spreadsheet would fill up within an hour—it would be completely full,” Ballantyne said. “And it was like not the same girls every month — it was different people all the time.”

The dorm also made fanny packs to show their support of their rector.

“I had slow drip cancer treatment that I wore a fanny pack for 48 hours every other week,” Lynch said.

Lynch discovered that her chemo pack was able to fit in the McGlinn fanny pack and was able to use it instead of the oncologist issued one.

When Lynch was declared cancer free, the dorm surprised her with a party and a video containing messages from former students and former Residential Assistants of McGlinn, as well as messages from Fr. Jenkins and Muffet McGraw, Schmitz said.

“I just have been absolutely amazed at the women here this year,” Lynch said. “If good can come out of a tough situation, I think that’s what happened. Just the spirit and the sense of community that evolved this year more so than some other years — and I don’t know if it was the rallying around me and my situation or what — but the women have just been amazing, absolutely amazing.”

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