This year, as first years made their arrival to campus, so did the first new dorms on North Campus in over two decades.
Some lucky members of the Class of 2025 found themselves moving in to Ganędagǫ Hall and Toni Morrison Hall. While both of these halls are intended to eventually be a part of Cornell’s Sophomore Village on North Campus, this year they are occupied by first years, who are ecstatic to be able to call these buildings home.
“I remember thinking ‘OMG’, I was just living the life,” said Madeleine Chedraoui ’25 when she was assigned to Toni Morrison Hall. Chedraoui, like many first-year residents of the new dorms, is happy with her placement and has been taking full advantage of the many features of the new buildings.
The two air conditioned halls are equipped with numerous lounges, study spaces, shared kitchen areas and a music practice room. In 2022, Toni Morrison Hall will also house an “all you care to eat dining facility,” according to the North Campus Residential Expansion website, which will include a salad bar, two 900 degree pizza ovens and a pasta platform to dry noodles.
Ganędagǫ Hall is named after the Cayuga nation in their language, with permission and support from the current leadership of the nation. The hall has space for a total of 520 residents who live in single gender suites composed of singles and doubles on mixed gender floors.
Toni Morrison Hall is named after award-winning author and Cornell alumna Toni Morrison M.A. ’55, who was the first African American woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. The hall can house up to 280 residents who live in suites of singles and doubles.
This year, Toni Morrison Hall serves as a community for female-identifying students, taking Balch Hall’s place as the building undergoes renovations. The Community Council of Toni Morrison Hall aims to organize activities and provide opportunities for residents to celebrate themselves and learn how to best thrive at Cornell.
Ganędagǫ Hall resident William Lee ’25 described the building as spacious. Like many other first year residents of the new buildings, Lee has heard stories from his friends of their experiences in North Campus’ older dorms. He is grateful to live in a newer facility and have access to air conditioning.
“I know a lot of my friends who live in other dorms are not having as great a time as me,” said Lee.
Paz Ortiz ’25 feels a strong sense of community within the female-identifying community of Toni Morrison Hall, so far.
“In general it’s just been very comfortable and you can hang out with your friends in lots of comfortable common spaces,” said Temilola Omojola ’25, another Morrison resident.
While the Class of 2025 gets the opportunity to experience life in Cornell’s new dorms during their first year, the university plans to convert them into sophomore housing units following the 2021-2022 school year, marking the first few steps in the expansion of the currently first year-dominated North Campus.