Fordham’s Best Dorm, McKeon Hall

A comprehensive guide to your first year in Fordham’s superior dorm



A view of McKeon Hall from the Plaza at night.


Atop Fordham’s law school sits one of the most notable features of Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus: McKeon Hall.  The first-year dorm is a very high contemporary building with large windows that provide amazing views. Not only does it make for excellent photos, but McKeon Hall is what most resident students first call home at Lincoln Center. 

No Lincoln Center student’s experience is complete until they have visited the Plaza with their friends (before it closes at 10 p.m., of course) and looked up at the beautiful McKeon Hall to see the iconic, illegal LED lights that almost every first-year decorates their room with.

Some new students are worried about what living in a more traditional dorm will be like, especially in comparison to the spacious apartments in McMahon Hall. However, they should never fear, as McKeon is the best college dorm at Fordham, and maybe even in all of New York. 

It has a certain charm to it. Its personality depends on its residents, and each floor has its own vibrant feel from its residents and the Office of Residential Life (ResLife) student staff members. The building itself has its own unique quirks — from the four elevators shared by over 400 residents, to the turnstiles by the dining hall that randomly allow or deny passage, to the oddly-stained carpeted hallways. But the experience of living in McKeon cannot be beat. 

While residents complain about the trash rooms with a climate of their own, the one shared laundry room and the walls that allow you to intimately know your neighbors, it is undeniably the closest Fordham Lincoln Center students will get to a traditional college dorm at an anything but traditional college campus. 

These distinct features can certainly add up and become frustrating, but they simply add value to the two-term sentence dedicated to the first-year dorm: They make for hilarious stories to share at dinners, and the seemingly paper-thin walls provide funny gossip to share with your friends. Your time in McKeon will create many sentimental remembrances with friends.

Despite its flaws and what I suspect to be some shoddy construction, McKeon makes up for its faults with its stunning views of the city. Those living in an even-numbered room have a $10-million view of downtown Manhattan of buildings like the Hearst Tower, the Deutsche Bank Center, Hudson Yards and, in some rooms, the Freedom Tower. You also have a nice view of the campus you call home. 

Those living in an odd-numbered room have a different, but also gorgeous, view. As someone who lived on this side, I would argue it is the better view. Your room faces uptown, and residents can see Lincoln Center, the Juilliard School, and a snippet of the Hudson River. At night, students can see a building cased in white light and another lit up in a magenta that is located near Columbia University, a whole 60 blocks away. This view is gorgeous and gives students the opportunity to see stunning sunrises and sunsets. 

If you find yourself on the uptown side of McKeon and are looking for a fun game, go down to Lincoln Center and try to find your room! My first-year roommate and I did that and it was a great memory. We acted like proud parents when we recognized our room.

Day-view of McKeon Hall. (CHRISTA TIPTON-NIGRO)

While the strange quirks and stunning views are certainly part of every McKeon resident’s experience, new students are often most concerned about one thing: What will their room look like? 

If you are anything like me, I am positive you are searching for everything you possibly can to get an idea of what McKeon is like. I know which YouTube videos you have watched, like the one with the girl showing her room on the even side and telling you it is the best side. (I still think the odd-numbered side is just better.) YouTube videos are a great way to give you an idea of what the dorm looks like, but there is so much more to McKeon, and I guarantee it is very different from what you are imagining. 

The furniture provided is … an acquired taste, and the room without any decorations is boring, bland and stifling, making it important to decorate the walls with posters and art. I also recommend having desk lamps for better lighting. I would never advocate or support students breaking policies relating to LED lights or hanging lights, and I do not at all think they make the room nicer and add a far better light than the fluorescent lights do. I totally do not recommend people get them for their room, because it is not allowed per ResLife guidelines. 

Anyway, it is important to make your room as cozy as possible! It will take a while before your room is perfect — I only had two or so wall decorations at move-in. I later bought a “Jujutsu Kaisen” poster, a “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” poster (from the “Stardust Crusaders” story arc, in case anyone was curious) and more wall art after attending Anime NYC. It took some time before my room started to feel like home.

To help first-years meet new people, each floor in McKeon also has a specific lounge, perfect for social get-togethers and spaces for ResLife-sponsored events, courtesy of each floor’s residential assistants and resident first-year mentors. People often worry about making friends in college, but honestly, it is very easy. Orientation is a great start, but your floors will also help foster a community feeling, and you will have a chance to meet people on your floor and on other floors too! The close-knit building allows you to easily go to a friend’s dorm and hang out.

McKeon is a lovely place to live, and I recommend you enjoy your short stay there by taking advantage of the lifestyle it gives you as well as the great memories you will form in its hallowed halls.

Finally, while it can feel like an inconvenience to not have a kitchen, as students living in McMahon Hall do, a traditional college dorm is actually a great way to start your college career. It allows for more time to focus on academics and allows you to fully transition into life away from home. As many older students will say, McKeon feels like you are living in a hotel, which is a great way to begin adulthood and college life before transitioning into apartment-style dorms at McMahon Hall as an upperclassman.

McKeon is a lovely place to live, and I recommend you enjoy your short stay there by taking advantage of the lifestyle it gives you as well as the great memories you will form in its hallowed halls. Next year, as I walk home to my McMahon apartment across the Plaza, I will be able to fondly look up at McKeon and reminisce about my first year. Enjoy McKeon and welcome to Fordham!