Writers, transfers share enthusiasm in Seneca

The dust of construction has been swept away, the bulletin boards have just arrived and the walls are decorated with portraits of authors in classic literature.

Seneca hall opened on Jan. 15 as the Writers House; the first residence hall designed to appeal to students with an interest in and appreciation of writing in any capacity.

"I think that Seneca is a great opportunity for a community of students to build around a common interest," said resident Stephanie Heinson, junior.

Like the developing structure that students have observed for the past semester, Seneca's interior bares a fresh look and feel, painted in earth tones with tiled floors throughout. Lounges include kitchens, laundry rooms, couches and tables for studying.

Students reported that the general atmosphere of the building is quiet and content, with underlying enthusiasm for the direction of the new hall.

A number of residents have already signed up for hall council and a few have started promoting themselves through fliers on the wall for leadership positions in the building.

Junior Sarah Greaves is the new assistant resident director in Seneca after a year and a half as a resident assistant and senior RA in the neighboring Ontario.

"We're off to a very good start," said Greaves. "The residents are really excited about being there and we've had a very large turnout for events we've done. The students are getting very involved already."

The housing style of Seneca hall offers two rooms in each suite, conjoined by a small hallway with a bathroom on one end and a shower on the other. The structure seems appealing to most residents - some who are living in residence halls for the first time.

Freshman transfer Krista Muscarella is delighted to live in Writer's House for her first semester at Geneseo. "I like the built-in closet and the fact that we don't have to share the bathroom between a lot of people," she said. "It's so great living here."

Muscarella's only complaint is regarding the construction work, in its final stages, that continues each morning around 8 a.m. Though a little noise, she said, is a small sacrifice for the overall living arrangement.

"There's already a great sense of community," said junior Brian Whitney. "People are hanging out in the lounges and getting excited about different activities to come."

Such activities in the works include tentative poetry readings by professional author Philip Schultz and others, poetry slams among students and a monthly book club.

Area Coordinator Kimberly Bilinski, who oversees both Ontario and Seneca halls under what some have nicknamed "S©enario," anticipates the dynamic of Writer's House to continue building as its debut semester progresses.

"Even with some of the different snags that always come with opening a building," Bilinski said, "everyone is just really excited to be here."