Julia Nagel/Sun Assistant Photography Editor

A student walks by Ganędagǫ Hall, one of the new North Campus residence halls.

October 13, 2021

From Leaky Showers to Lonely Suites, Student Residents Voice Concerns About New North Campus Dorms

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In the brand new Toni Morrison Hall and Ganędagǫ Hall, hundreds of students are settling into the North Campus Residential Expansion project’s modern amenities. But the first residents in these dorms have observed early problems, from undecorated walls to flooding showers.

The new buildings stand out among the other North Campus residence halls, many of which the University built decades ago. The Georgian-style Clara Dickson Hall, built in 1946, and the 1970 low rises shrink beneath the new buildings, plated with glass and boasting their own dining hall.

NCRE will continue through fall 2022, as the University constructs five new residential facilities in total, adding approximately 2,000 beds to the residential campus — including 800 beds for sophomores and 1,200 for first-year students. 

The NCRE project is creating spacious lounge areas, study spaces and common rooms where residents can socialize with their neighbors. Despite these benefits, some students say they’ve struggled with the structure of the dorms, including isolating and inconvenient layouts.

Residents voiced their complaints about a subpar drainage system in their showers — saying they’ve logged multiple maintenance requests to address this problem, but say there is not yet a permanent solution.

“The water leaks all the way to the bathroom,” said Graciella Rivera ’25, who lives in Ganędagǫ Hall. “We had to get rid of our rug because the water was all over the place.”

According to Rivera, the shower drains are level with the floor, so water leaks out into the rest of the bathroom. Although there is drainage in the middle of the room, Rivera and other residents said they frequently notice large puddles.

Some students, including Ganędagǫ Hall resident Shaylyn Nair ’25, said the buildings’ structure also limits active social interactions between the residents. 

Among the first-year residential halls at North Campus, Nair said, Toni Morrison Hall and Ganędagǫ Hall are already building a reputation for being less social dorms. She traced this back to their layout. 

“The suite doors are very heavy … They are always shut,” Nair said. “In other dorms, you walk down the hallway and can see a lot of open doors. It’s so easy to talk to people and just say hi. That doesn’t happen here at Ganędagǫ.”

This issue is not unique to Ganędagǫ Hall. Gloria Geng ’25, treasurer of the Toni Morrison Hall Council, raised a similar concern for her dorm. 

“I don’t know anyone from my hall beside the people in my suite,” Geng said. “All the doors are always shut because the doors are very heavy. It’s very unwelcoming. I would like to have a more inclusive community.”

However, other residents said they believe the closed suite doors bring some added security. Alyssa Miyamoto ’25, a resident at Ganędagǫ Hall, said she enjoys the privacy.

“I don’t have an issue with it,” Miyamoto said. “The closed suite doors are great for privacy. Without it, random people who are not from Ganędagǫ can easily access the residents’ private facilities such as the bathroom.”

Other students attributed the bright white walls of the new dorms to their “less social” reputation. According to the first-year residents, the walls at the new residential halls are overwhelmingly blank and white, causing some student residents to feel uneasy.

“It feels very office-building-esque and not home-y at all,” Nair said. 

Despite these problems, all interviewed student residents said positive aspects of the new dorms at North Campus outweigh the negatives, as both Toni Morrison Hall and Ganędagǫ Hall provide the student residents with spacious rooms, good air conditioning and heating systems, and new facilities.

Geng expressed her satisfaction with her residence, appreciating the hardwood floors as well as the air conditioning and spacious rooms.

“I feel lucky to be in this dorm,” Miyamoto said.

Correction, Oct. 14, 11:17 a.m.: This post has been updated to include the correct opening date for the North Campus low rises.