by TAYLOR BRETHAUER, Editor-in-Chief
It’s not every day that Manhattan College students celebrate the “birthday” of a building, but the residents and resident assistants of Lee Hall gathered together to throw a party for the college’s youngest dorm building.
On the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 3, resident assistants (RAs) took up vacancy on the fifth through eighth floors of the building with activities for their residents.
The event was announced by the Lee Hall twitter account on Oct. 1, along with flyers posted around the building.
“Lee Hall is turning 10!!!,” said @LeeHall_MC. “Make sure to join us this Wednesday, October 3rd to celebrate […] #unbeleevable.”
The suite-style dorm building, which was originally named East Hill, opened in 2008. The building houses all four years and the Arches program specifically for freshman.
Activities for the event were spread out amongst the floors and different RAs on duty.
On the eighth floor was an activity called “What Lee Hall Means to You”, where residents could write on notecards their memories of living in the building and what it means to them. The notecards will be put up on a banner to be hung up in the building.
Maria de Francisco, a senior RA in the building, was one of the students leading the activity. The idea had been brought up at a staff meeting during the start of the semester and came together quickly. She expressed her gratitude for the dorm hall and the event.
“When the idea was first presented I thought it was amazing. As an RA, I do everything possible for my residents to feel as if Lee Hall is their home. I thought that with this birthday party they really had the chance to celebrate where they lived. This building has given so much to me, not only as a resident my first two years here but also with this job as an RA. To honor this building today was a special feeling,” said on the day of the celebration.
On the seventh floor was Jasper trivia, along with a birthday cake. Residents were quizzed about MC-related trivia about the history of the school and the campus.
On the sixth floor was an informative session about the “Ladies of Lee”, which served as an opportunity to highlight prominent women at MC, both past and present. It also highlighted information about Margaret Lee, for whom the building is named, along with breast cancer awareness information since the month of October is breast cancer awareness month.
Conlan McDonald, a senior RA for the Arches program, participated in the Ladies of Lee floor activity.
“I feel like the event was successful. As an RA, I was put in charge of “The Ladies of Lee,” which was all about Breast Cancer Awareness and celebrating influential women on campus. Myself, Kaitlyn Von Runnen and Kerry Cavanagh organized the event and, overall, we had a lot of participation from residents throughout the building,” said McDonald.
Finally, in the fifth floor lounge and game room were balloon animals, face painting, goodie bags and “pin the collar on the Jasper.”
Overall, the event was successful to both those that attended and the RAs that were working it.
De Francisco, originally from Columbia, reflected on her time living in the building, saying, “Lee Hall has been my home away from home for 4 years! It’s crazy to think it’s already been 4 years. I feel safe and comfortable here, and there is no other building where I rather live. This building brought me some of my best friends in the world and made me feel like I belong to a big family. This is one of the reasons I also decided to be an RA here, I thought I needed to give back to Lee Hall. Since I am not from the US and my home is very far away, Lee Hall has been my safe haven here at MC.”
Not only serving as a home for students, but also a place of memories, Lee Hall means a lot to everyone, each for their personal experiences. For many students, including McDonald, Lee Hall has served as the “backdrop” to his college career.
McDonald said, “For me, Lee Hall is not just a residence hall, it is my home. I have met lifelong friends while living in this building. I have laughed, cried, and had some of my greatest successes and failures within its walls.”