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Why I Love Living in Kenna

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Portland chapter.

Kenna’s one of the all-female residence halls of University of Portland and my current home away from home. As a freshman in college, I was nervous about staying away from home for so long, of course. But now that I’m settled in and adjusted, I love living here. I love it so much that I plan on dorming again in Kenna next year.

There are a couple physical perks that I have to take into account when considering why I love this dorm so much. One, it’s only two floors. Compared to Mehling with eight floors or Fields with four, this is awesome because on move-in day I didn’t have to wait for an elevator or make a bunch of trips up and down the stairs with all my stuff. And on a regular basis, it’s also nice just to have a shorter distance to walk.

Speaking of walking, it’s a super quick walk to the academic quad where a majority of classes are held, as well as the Clark Library and the Commons, the main place to get food on campus. Also because of its location in the East Quad, Kenna’s super close to the Pilot House, another one of the dining establishments on campus, and Mack’s Market, which is basically the campus grocery store. If I ever have a craving for french fries or ice cream, the solution’s just a quick walk away. And trust me, this is AWESOME. The East Quad open space itself is beautiful, perfect for sports or hanging out when the weather’s nice. Here’s what it looks like in the fall.


But this is all stuff you can find on the school website. On the other hand, a personal view of what it’s like to live in Kenna’s something a potential student may not be able to find there. And no reflection of life in Kenna is complete without mentioning the Kenna community.

The Kenna community stands out above everything else. As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in our lobby on a Saturday night where a few girls are working on a puzzle, a few are attempting to do some homework and we’re all laughing and sharing a plate of cookies a fellow resident had baked earlier.


A week ago, we had one of our big dorm events, Kenna Hallywood, which is a fancy movie night, complete with a candy bar, professional photo booth and a popcorn machine, just for the residents of Kenna Hall. As a member of our Hall Council, I got to help plan the event and set up the decorations and the event itself was a ton of fun!



In everything I’ve done with my hall community, there’s a feeling of belonging and family, Even though I have friends from other dorms, there’s something special about enjoying some downtime with women of different ages and backgrounds and senses of humor, all brought together because of where they’re living.

It’s in times like those where I truly see how different people are, but at the same time, how similar we are. No matter what interests or hobbies you have or what kind of tv shows you watch or music you listen to, there’ll always be people you can share that with.

Because that’s what community is – a safe, loving, and supportive environment where people can be themselves and be uplifted by the people around them. If I had to choose one word to describe Kenna, it would be community.

Like with all things, you have to be willing to put in a little effort to make yourself a part of the community. No matter what dorm you live in, go to hall events, hang out in the common areas, talk with your neighbors and join hall council! But at the University of Portland, whether you choose Kenna or are placed there, the women of Kenna Hall will welcome you with open arms.

Jennifer is studying Environmental Science and English at the University of Portland. She loves to read, write, take photos, and watch animated movies in her free time.