New residence hall welcomes three men’s households

By Peter Lim
Staff Writer

Blessed Solanus Casey Hall, a new men’s dorm on lower campus, has been a popular topic of discussion among students this semester. The dorm, which was formerly a Sleep Inn & Suites, was purchased by Franciscan University over the summer.

A chapel was added to the building shortly after its purchase, and the University has plans to add a basketball court, pickleball courts, hammock villages, fire pits and more to the area surrounding the dorm.

In an effort to promote community in this new dorm, three men’s households were given the opportunity to take up residence in Casey Hall while maintaining their original common rooms in Francis and Trinity Halls.

These households are Apprentices of St. Joseph (fourth floor), Disciples of the Word (third floor) and Corpus Christi (second floor).

“We’ve been in Francis since our foundation ten years ago,” Corpus Christi co-coordinator Jeswin Gloria said of the transition. “So I think Res Life was understanding to us.”

“They gave us a few incentives, but besides that they also gave us the opportunity … to not have to completely take Casey Hall in one semester,” Gloria added. “But (instead) to start off with a few commitments in Casey and try to build a dorm life there … so that we can slowly progress toward the transition.”

Ethan Peterson, the other coordinator of Corpus Christi, said that Director of Evangelization Bob Lesnefsky reached out in mid-July to talk to the coordinators about the possibility of moving down to Casey and getting a bigger common room to accommodate the household’s growth.

Gloria added that the dorm’s more secluded structure and distance from the center of campus has challenged Corpus Christi to be more intentional about building community there.

“We moved down to Casey for several reasons,” said Apprentices of St. Joseph coordinator Devin O’Sullivan. “The first incentive was the money: 500 dining dollars apiece.”

O’Sullivan added that the household was offered a stipend for gear and retreat expenses, as well as free campus parking passes.

“Another main reason was that it was time for us to grow up as a household,” O’Sullivan said. “There are some things about living further from the main nucleus of campus that force us to become more adult-like.”

Disciples of the Word co-coordinator Liam Brown said that he was initially resistant to the idea of moving to Casey Hall because his household has a strong presence on Upper Campus.

“We prayed about it more, we talked with the Disciples, with the members and the intents and we felt like it was the right move,” Brown concluded.

“We started thinking about all the possibilities,” added Harrison Smith, the other co-coordinator of Disciples. “The Spirit really led the conversation; we started seeing all the good.”

Smith said that the additional 30 spaces on wing that Casey Hall provides was another draw for the household.

Students who are interested in these households are encouraged to visit their lower campus common rooms and attend household commitments.