BY JACINTA DYKE
Many underclassmen, dreaming of more space and independence, count down the days until they are seniors and can move into their very own apartments. Such students may find it difficult to imagine why a significant portion of seniors at Franciscan University have chosen to stay in the dorms for their final year of school.
The vibrant household life is one of the crucial factors in many seniors’ decisions to stay in the dorms. “The primary reason I live in a dorm is to serve my household sisters,” said senior Lauren McParlane, a coordinator for Madonna of the Streets household. “It gives me the opportunity to get to know them better and live in community with them. There are seven seniors living on wing for household,” she said.
Senior Sam Kuhlman, coordinator for Tantum Ergo Sacramentum household, agreed. “Households are a huge thing for me,” he said.
Apart from the household environment, many seniors genuinely love the one-of-a-kind community of the dorms.
“Something that makes Franciscan University unique is that their dorms have different classes in them,” said Amanda Decker, a senior resident assistant in Clare Hall.
“In the dorms I am able to meet people of all ages in all different majors,” said another senior, Nicole Krajewski. “Living in Assisi Heights is a very different type of community and I don’t think that I would meet as many new people as easily as I do here in St. Thomas More Hall.”
A number of the seniors cherish the important opportunity they have in the dorms to reach out to younger students, especially freshman. “I like the idea of upperclassmen setting a good example for the younger classmen,” said senior Marie Beinke, co-coordinator of the Daughters of Jerusalem household.
Dave Belkowski, a senior in Kolbe Hall, was deeply inspired by the seniors in his dorm who reached out to him when he was a freshman. “The senior guys took the time to invest in me as a person and share their lives with me,” he said. “Now I want to give back to the dorm as a whole.”
Many seniors simply want to enjoy the unique experience of dorm life while it lasts. “This is the only dorm experience we will ever get to have,” said Briana Maggio, a senior in Clare Hall. “We might as well live it up!”
Of course, these seniors have made sacrifices to live in the dorms that they would not have made if they lived in apartments. Like the rest of the underclassmen they are living with, they have to cope with limited space, communal bathrooms, no real quiet atmosphere and less independence.
Despite possible inconveniences, the seniors who willingly choose to live in dorms at Franciscan would agree wholeheartedly with their fellow classmate Amanda Decker, who said that the small sacrifices are “well worth it.”