BY Mayte Figueroa-Camilo
This year, Sacred Heart commemorates the 25th anniversary of Seton Hall. The first-year residential hall is a tribute to the late Elizabeth Ann Seton, whose work influenced the start of parochial systems in America. According to SetonShrine.org, Seton was known for her devotion to the Catholic faith and her desire to spread the Catholic teachings to those around her. The building was originally known as South Hall, but was later renamed after Seton.
“She was very instrumental in education, especially in Catholic education. She was one of the main people to kind of help push Catholic education throughout the United States,” said Assistant Director of Residential Life, Gregory Madrid.
When asked about the significance behind naming the building after Seton, Madrid said, “She was one of the first American-born that were sainted and so I think just in general, it fits in our mission of educating…and our Catholic tradition.”
Seton’s 25th anniversary was celebrated after the New Student Convocation, where the class of 2022 were invited to join the building and staff for cupcakes and drinks.
“For us it’s trying to get the students to see a little bit more, like who was Seton, and how the names of the buildings actually have a significance to Sacred Heart and a significance to college education,” said Madrid.
Seton Hall is one of the largest and oldest residence halls on campus, housing over 700 first year students. Residence Hall Director Emily Grobmyer gave some insight into what life in Seton Hall is like. “Seton has a great atmosphere. Historically there has been a really strong community here that crosses floors. It’s really common for residents to have friends on a variety of floors and throughout the building and spending time with those friends just hanging out or studying together,” said Grobmyer.
Former students who lived in Seton Hall had both positive and negative memories of the building.
“I have a lot of memories at Seton hall and most of them are good memories,” said sophomore Alex Caruso. “Going to a new school is hard enough, but living in a new place makes it even harder. Luckily Seton Hall quickly felt like home.”
Not all memories of Seton Hall were as positive as Caruso’s. “I studied in Italy my first semester of college, and had a living area, personal bathroom and a small Italian kitchen with my roommate. I had two windows that overlooked a small piazza and the cozy sun would slowly wake me up in the morning. When we came to SHU, my roommate and I were cramped in basically what looked like a janitor’s closet or a single room meant for a RA,” said Junior Kay Kanakry.
Kanakry continued to share her thoughts on Seton Hall. “The walls were hospital blue painted bricks. We lofted our beds and our heads would scratch the top of the 6th floor celling in the morning. Only one of us could stand on the floor at one time because we were that cramped in there. So overall, Seton was the worst place I have ever lived.”
Seton Hall’s particular design and traditional style has been a drawback to some students. “I did feel that Ronc (Roncalli Hall) was nicer in terms of having an open area on every floor,” said sophomore Lauren Tanner.
Other students, like sophomores Tia White and Noelle Fredrick, had a different experience living in Seton. “I don’t have any complaints about Seton, I enjoyed living there,” said White. “I did not have a terrible experience—I thought it was fun,” said Frederick.
Seton Hall has been through many changes, trying to become modernized throughout the years, as Madrid explained. “It’s one of our core places for our freshmen, and it’s also one of the places where students end their career during Senior week. It’s a starting and ending place for a lot of our students,” added Madrid.