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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

O’Donnell Hall closed

O’Donnell Hall was a residence hall on Marquette’s campus. Marquette Wire stock photo

O’Donnell Hall has been closed down for the 2021-22 school year and is no longer housing students due to a lower percentage of students living on campus.

“It isn’t exactly true that it is closed due to low admission numbers. The number and percentage of commuters is higher, so while we will have roughly the same number of new students as we did last year, less of them will live on campus,” John Baworowsky, vice president for enrollment management, said.

O’Donnell Hall is located on the west side of campus on 18th Street and Wisconsin Avenue. The residence hall typically houses around 300 first-year students.

The residence hall was open over the summer for housing the New Student Orientation program staff, Ready to Inspire Success and Excellence pre-Orientation program students and staff, Sodexo staff and Alumni Memorial Union student staff who were training on campus before residence halls opened in order to open facilities as students arrived.

During the 2020-21 school year, O’Donnell Hall was one of three residence halls that were required to quarantine after a “confirmed cluster” of COVID-19 cases from the third floor of the hall. Students living on the third floor were moved into off-campus spaces to quarantine for 14 days.

“While it may not have been the best living space, everyone on the floor was super friendly, kind of like this shared, unmentioned experience bonded us together, which I think residents of previous years prior could say the same,” Trevor Tosto, a former O’Donnell Hall resident and a junior in the College of Communication, said. “I definitely think it’s unfortunate others won’t be able to experience that.”

O’Donnell Hall was built in 1952 from funds raised by the Association of Marquette University Women and originally was a women’s residence hall. It became a male-only residence hall in 1990 and co-ed in 2017.

During the 2015-16 school year, O’Donnell Hall had a vacant wing after the university received a smaller first-year class than it aimed for.

The residence hall was also scheduled to close during the 2016-17 school year and at the time, was either supposed to be closed permanently or renovated.

However, in 2016, O’Donnell Hall underwent renovations and transitioned from a male-only residence hall to co-ed. The hall then reopened due to increased enrollment.

Over the summer of 2019, the residence hall was renovated again, getting new furniture, carpeting, painting and stair treads.

“O’Donnell Hall is closed for this current academic year, and we will evaluate each year as we determine class size,” Mary Janz, executive director of residence life, said.

Fall 2021 census data has not been released yet.

“The university has not finalized enrollment numbers for the 2021-22 academic year. We expect those figures to come a little later this month,” Brian Troyer, dean of undergraduate admissions, said.

However, fall 2020 and spring 2021 data show a decrease in enrollment beginning with 11,550 students enrolled in the fall and transitioning to 11,108 students enrolled in the spring. Around 88% of those students were enrolled full-time.

“I will forever miss that ‘murder hallway’ in the basement. I actually filmed a short film down there due to the eeriness,” Tosto said.

This story was written by Bailey Striepling. She can be reached at [email protected].

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