Dorm Profile: Doane Hall

Doane Hall, also referred to as “The Mansion on the Hill,” is the oldest residence hall on campus. Once a part of the Walton family estate, it now houses Eastern undergrads.

The outside of Doane is beautiful. Trees shield the view of the parking lot, and the location provides a panoramic view of campus. Wooden benches overlook scenic Willow Lake and of course, Doane Hill.

Students have a love-hate relationship with the Hill. In the winter, students can be seen sledding down on everything from Sodexho trays to mattresses. In the summer, blankets are spread on the grass for studying, tanning and socializing.

However, walking up the long hill at the end of a long day can make students wish for a more conventional dorm setting. “It makes you want to cry,” junior Mandi Dorrell said. “A lot.” Dorrell has been at Doane for three years.

Doane is divided into four sections: A, B, C, and D. The main entrance of Doane opens to B, and RD Shannon Hartsock’s apartment is on the left.

Further to the left are sections C and D, known as the more community-minded sections. “I’ve walked into my room to find people sleeping in my bed before,” Dorrell said.

Above are two floors of B, which is the quiet, more private section with most of the building’s singles and a tiny study room.

To the right lies A, which houses the only two floors of men in the building. There are also two quads of men on girls halls, one in A and one in D, with separate entrances from the women’s halls.

The quad in A has a bellpull reaching into B lounge so they can be contacted without violating visitation rules. Although slightly separated, the quads are still very much a part of the women’s halls, participating in their Grow groups and hanging out.

The D-ground quad used their culinary skills to host a “welcome-back” party for Doane at the beginning of both the fall and spring semesters this year.

Although its status as the oldest dorm on campus means Doane may have fewer amenities and be slightly more decrepit than other buildings, it is still a wonderful place to live.

Indeed, if NCH is a navy blanket with a nice, neat logo in the middle, and Gough is a maroon throw with gold edging, then Doane is a crazy quilt.

However, in the words of Doane RD Shannon Hartsock, “What we lack in newness, we make up for in community.” Hartscock would know-she lived in Doane for two years as a student and was actually an RA on A-2cd. “It’s kind of like coming home,” she said.

The students love it too.

“Everyone says Doane has good community,” junior Patience Domowski, another Doane “lifer,” said. “Our T-shirt theme is ‘Where Everybody Knows Your Name.'”

Domowski also talked about the “dance parties” she and her hallmates have in their community bathroom and about the gifts her hall used to give Felicia, their housekeeper. “She’s gone now though, and we don’t know the new one yet. We miss her,” Domowski said.

Although students who haven’t lived in Doane seem to think it an undesirable place to live, Dorrell thinks students who live there know better. “Doane is like New Jersey,” she said. “If you don’t live there, you would never, ever move there, but if you live there, you never want to leave.”

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