As a freshman coming to Gonzaga, there are numerous options for first year living. It is hard to know the vibe and the feel by looking at a list of 12 housing selection names. Each dorm is known for its own unique atmosphere.

Catherine Monica, more commonly known on campus as CM, is known for being the most social coed freshman dorm on campus. The building was originally built in 1963 and still has the charm to make it almost every freshman’s first pick while looking through dorm options. 

“It’s super social,” said Peter Jonas, a junior. “You can definitely just go into random people’s rooms and swing by some common rooms. Sometimes it would take an hour or so from the front door to get to my room because I would stop and talk to so many people.” 

For many freshmen, the social scene and location makes up for the old bathrooms and tiny rooms. Squeezed between Madonna Hall and Coughlin Hall and just across from Mulligan Field, CM offers a prime location for visiting other dorms and going to the COG.  

“I knew that CM had a reputation as a crazy party dorm, so I was a little worried about how loud it would be at night, but it honestly didn’t bother me at all,” said Bella Going, a junior. “I’m glad that everyone was so willing to invite other people into their rooms. I have so many good memories from times where we crammed a lot of people in those tiny rooms.”

In CM, it is important to maintain a balance between social and personal time. Sometimes reading a book or journaling alone can go a long way.

“Determine whether you want your room to be social or not,” Jonas said. “Mine was kind of quiet which was perfect because there was always another open room in the hall to socialize at and then come back and find my room restful.”

Coughlin, also known to students on campus as Hotel Coughlin, is known for being a coed freshman dorm focused on community living, campus engagement and their beautiful, new, clean and hot showers. 

Just to the right of CM, Coughlin offers students the most luxurious freshman living on campus. It was built in 2008 and many compare the living style to hotel living. 

Coughlin is unique in that each floor has a different theme and its own community. The second floor houses the Learns 2 Lead Living Learning Community (LLC), the third floor houses the Cura Personalis LLC, the fourth houses the Women for Others LLC and the fifth floor houses the Global Citizenship LLC.

“I lived on the Women for Others floor, where I instantly had a community of supportive and caring people. The girls on my floor are still some of my closest friends at GU,” said Claire Tollan, a junior. 

The sense of community is strong in Coughlin.

“It is also one of the largest dorms on campus,” Tollan said. “I would say that because of this, the sense of a tight-knit community comes more from your floor than the dorm as a whole. But being such a large dorm, I’d often meet people on campus and find out they lived in Coughlin too, which made it really easy to hang out.”

Coughlin residents are often known for heavily engaging in the GU community through clubs, sports and committees on campus. 

Madonna is the third coed dorm located on Cincinnati Street. Madonna is known for housing both sophomores and freshmen and for having sinks in the rooms. Similar to CM, Madonna is an older dorm with prime location, and it offers students a bit of a quieter atmosphere. 

The community is tight knit in Madonna and freshmen are likely to all know each other in this dorm. The common spaces are frequently used, which makes it easy to hang out and meet people. 

Living in Madonna makes the COG a less than minute walk away. This is prime during the winter when no one wants to leave their warm dorms to make the trek to dinner.

Welch and Desmet are the two dorms located in the center of campus between The Hemmingson Center and College Hall. Both of these dorms offer tight knit communities and prime location.

Welch has traditionally been a female-only dorm, but this year, GU is opening it up to coed living. Storage and the cozy atmosphere are the main highlights of living in Welch. The built-in wooden cabinets maximize room space and make it easy to find room for clothes and belongings. 

“It was the perfect place to live freshmen year, because it was so central,” said Hannah Presken, a junior. “I could come back from class for 15 minutes and it wasn’t a walk at all to get back to College Hall or Hemmingson. It was also nice that since it wasn’t as social, it was an easy escape when I wanted alone time.”

Desmet has been an all-boys dorm for freshman and sophomores since 1925. The community in this dorm is strong and can be a lot of fun. There is a lot of room to room interaction, and is home to DJ Desmet, who you can hear while walking up and down Bulldog Alley. The rooms are fairly small, but the central location makes up for tight quarters. 

Alliance is the only all-girls dorm on campus and it is located right behind Rosauer and Welch. This dorm offers female students a place of community and quieter living. If incoming students aren’t wanting an overwhelming amount of social interaction but want to meet a group of solid friends and community, this is the place to be.

“I loved Alliance. I found so much comfort in the building and living there. My roommate was the best and it was easier than I thought to make friends outside of my dorm,” said junior Lina Maurice. 

Marian Hall is known for being the outdoors dorm. Located a short few blocks off campus, Marian offers sophomores and freshmen a place to meet people who love nature and to engage in outdoor activities.  

The rooms are spacious and have built in cabinets which makes living easy. Marian also has sinks in the rooms, which is an added bonus. 

Community in Marian is unmatched compared to many of the other freshman dorms. Each year, strong, bonds are created between residents. This makes Marian a popular choice among people looking to meet friends to go on excursions with.

Dooley House is another coed dorm on campus that is located next to the Kennedy Apartments. It is one of the freshman dorms farthest from the center of campus, but it offers suite style living for both sophomores and freshman. 

“For freshman living in Dooley, I would say don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and reach out to people living on your floor/side of the building,” said sophomore Sadie Vincent. “You’re all in the same boat and they’ll probably be glad to know a classmate nearby.”

Goller and Dillon are two almost identical dorms that house both sophomores and freshmen. They are known for being the LLC engineering dorms, but it isn’t only engineers living in these suites. Unlike traditional dorm living, both Goller and Dillon offer suite style with a shared living space, two bathrooms, and three bedrooms. 

Kenneth Rasmussen lived in Dillon his freshman year and he believes that it has made his GU experience full of support and friendships.

“Being a part of a suite made my time substantially better,” Rasmussen said. “Living with my five suitemates turned out well and they are still some of my best friends today. I would say to really give Dillon and Goller a chance. The community really stood out to me.”

No matter which dorm you end up in, you’re guaranteed to make friends and connections from other residence halls. GU offers countless opportunities to create relationships in and outside of your living quarters.

Allie Noland is a staff writer.

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