Reconsidering the Reputation of “Hotel Fennell”: The Negativity Commonly Associated with PC’s Single Dorm is Misguided

by The Cowl Editor on September 26, 2019


Located in the farthest corner of campus, Fennell Hall might seem isolated, but there are
plenty of programs to connect Fennell residents with the rest of campus. Photo courtesy of Providence College Residence Life.


by Marie Sweeney ’20

Opinion Staff

Fennell Hall is probably the most undesirable residence hall at Providence College. Most believe that Fennell is where students live when they have roommate problems, have just transferred to PC, prefer to isolate themselves, or several other stereotypes associated with the hall. Most also believe that it is filled with ghosts and haunted memories from the past. However, what PC students fail to recognize is Fennell’s potential greatness. 

Students assume that living in Fennell must be an isolating experience. However, most students do not understand that the majority of the residents who live in Fennell have chosen to live there and find it perfect for their needs. 

A residence hall with single rooms is necessary to any college campus which aims to suit the needs of students. There are various reasons as to why students would prefer to live in a single room rather than with roommates. Some prefer to have their own sleep schedule, have the luxury of doing work in their room with no distraction, and many more reasons. 

Additionally, Fennell is in very close proximity to the Smith Center for the Arts which is beneficial for music and theatre majors to quickly get to their classes. The same goes for business majors who want to be close to the Arthur F. and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies. A lot of students argue that Fennell is far from the rest of campus; however, it is the same distance from everything as Suites Hall, one of the more desired living spaces on campus. 

Noticing this negative reputation of Fennell, the Office of Residence Life has done a lot  to make Fennell more desirable and enjoyable for residents. 

Evan Jones, the current complex director for Fennell Hall, states, “I picked up on that reputation pretty quickly and wanted to do my best to change things and make Fennell the best it can be.’’ Jones and ResLife created the motto of “Fennell Fam” to encourage Fennell residents to embrace their residence hall and get to know each other better and to promote public awareness of Fennell’s comeback. Jones also created a Fennell Fam Spotify playlist to allow any Fennell residents to add their favorite songs and create a shared bond. Fennell is also constantly hosting fun and exciting hall activities. 

Furthermore, Fennell is just as nice, or even better than some of the traditional residence halls. With a newly renovated lounge space, roomy living spaces, and up-to-date facilities, there should be no reason why Fennell is not a desirable place to live. 

Director of Residence Life Jana Valentine adds that they receive many requests from students, mostly sophomores and juniors, that were placed in Fennell to live in Fennell again for the following year because “they like the room so much that they want to remain there.” 

In recent years, ResLife has received a lot of backlash from the campus community for placing freshmen and transfer students in Fennell. Students argue that this isolates these students who are new to campus and limits them from making friends and meeting people. 

While this may be the case for some students who are placed there, the majority of first year students and transfers enjoy living in Fennell. Also, placing freshmen in Fennell is a last resort for ResLife, which tries its best to place freshmen in traditional residence halls. In the case that they need to place a group of freshmen in Fennell, they put in major efforts to keep them connected with the rest of the class, and most of the time freshmen truly enjoy living in Fennell. 

As for transfer students, residence life keeps in constant communication with them to ensure that they are comfortable where they are living and accommodate any room changes they may desire. 

Overall, students should have an open mind when discussing Fennell, as most students have never even set foot inside. There is absolutely nothing wrong with living in a single residence hall if one so desires, and no one should judge someone based upon their living preferences. Fennell is a great place to live on campus and the negative reputation is something that should be discouraged.