Anytime you mention Quincer or Pickitt Hall to a Cornerstone University student, you’re sure to get a story. Both the men’s and women’s freshman dorm buildings have been around longer than any others and have housed generations of Cornerstone students. Most of those who live on campus have experienced life in these community-style dorms and could tell you distinctive tales about freshman year and the community that never fails to form.
A SHARED EXPERIENCE
Both halls have their own traditions and cultures that give them unique personalities. Quincer Hall, the men’s dorm that is affectionately known as “the Q,” is remembered by past residents for late-night hangouts, dorm room doors always left open and a strong sense of brotherhood.
Alex Hamilton (B.A. ’23) who currently lives in the Q said, “There’s so much going on that you don’t want to miss out on. You may wake up tired some mornings because you’ve got to get to class, but it’s okay because you know you didn’t miss out on anything.”
Likewise, if you were to go into the Pickitt girl’s dorm late at night, you would almost certainly find residents clustered in a lounge or talking in the hall. It seems like there’s always something to do or someone to talk to.
Interestingly, almost anyone who’s lived in Pickitt would tell you that the community bathrooms are one of the things that help to promote the friendly and inviting culture. You’re with other residents as you get ready for your day and as you prepare for bed at night.
If you’re worried about sharing that space or how clean it will be, Jozlyn Vantol (B.S. ’23) joked, “The community bathrooms aren’t gross. They’re actually kind of nice because you don’t have to clean them!”
After not living in a community-style dorm the past two years, I second that! Community-style bathrooms are cared for by the campus housekeeping staff, which helps residential students have one less thing to worry about with their busy schedules.
For a lot of college students, rooming with others for the first time can be an adjustment. Luckily, residents tend to have a willingness to change if it will better the community. You learn so much from doing life with other people going through the same transition. Both Alex and Jozlyn shared that they are thankful for that opportunity and expressed the love they have for fellow residents and the deep relationships that they have formed.
RESIDENCE LIFE STAFF
The openness and care that the residents have for each other is fostered by the residence life staff. In the freshman dorms especially, RAs (Resident Assistants) are encouraged to pour into their residents and be a resource to them—whether it is a life issue, school issue or faith issue.
Alex spoke highly of his RA: “His room has such a welcoming atmosphere. The community he constantly tries to foster is so intentional. He’s the kind of guy that will make himself late to a job interview just because he wants to talk to you. That happened to me this year. I kind of assumed that there was gonna be this distant guy that was there to settle arguments, but he’s very intentionally seeking relationships with every single guy in our hall.”
Jozlyn also shared about her RA’s ability to bring the section together. “She’s very good at knowing how to talk to all different kinds of people. She’s good at getting people to connect. There are some girls in my section that I would probably never seek out [on my own], but she’s gotten us to talk and become friends.”
The RA’s primary goal is to support their residents, but another priority is planning events unique to their section. In Jozlyn’s section, every birthday is celebrated with cheesecake and a late-night hang out. This is another opportunity for residents to connect and feel loved. In Alex’s section, they have an event called Quincetheatre. Every week, residents of that section go to their RA’s room and watch a movie together.
One of the biggest highlights of living in these dorms is Powderpuff—a flag football game between Cook Hall (the sophomore women’s hall) and Pickitt Hall. The rivalry contends with that of Michigan and Ohio in college sports. The Quincer brother sections serve as the coaches for their Pickitt sister section. Everyone takes it very seriously, practicing for weeks leading up to the actual game.
All of the practice and time spent culminates in an ultimate showdown between the two halls. Pickitt almost never loses, so the Quickitt (Quincer and Pickitt) pride is strong. Even if residents are unable to play or coach, they always form a cheering section to support Quickitt.
RITE OF PASSAGE
Most people on campus would consider life in Quincer and Pickitt as a rite of passage in your time at Cornerstone. No college dorm experience is perfect of course, but it is such a meaningful time full of personal growth and relationship building.
When I asked Alex what he would say to incoming freshman, he had this piece of advice: “You are not too cool to get out and have fun. Get dirty. Make relationships. Be loud. Whoever you invent yourself to be in the Q, you are a brother, and you are welcome there.”
I would echo that from my experience in Pickitt. If you embrace the community and lean into everything that it has to offer, you won’t be disappointed.
WHAT’S TO COME
While both dorms are known as the oldest on campus, they aren’t outdated. In fact, exercise rooms were just put into both buildings. On top of that, they are renovating the lounges with all new furniture and decor.
And big changes are coming! Both Pickitt and Quincer up to this point have housed three students to a room, but next year each room will have two residents. In addition, Keithly Hall, which currently houses upperclassmen, will be for freshman girls. This will allow more space for residents as well as accommodating the number of incoming students.
To see the dorms for yourself and experience CU’s uncompromising and caring community, sign up for a visit!