Different dorms garner different benefits
Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 19:04
Sophomore Casey Plaskersaid she favors North Campus residence halls over other housing locations around campus.
“I’ve lived [on North Campus] my whole time here, and it’s just a nice area,” Plasker said.
Similarly to Plasker, several students have admitted they favor certain on-campus housing over others. Students find some residence halls promote more social interaction, but may not have as many desirable features, and vice versa.
Sophomore Carly Wilt said she thinks she would have been happy living anywhere on campus her freshman year. Wilt lived in George Read North, and she said while the newer facilities in George Read were an advantage, she thinks her experience in a residence hall would have been the same regardless of where she lived.
However, Wilt said living on North Campus did have drawbacks. She said having air conditioning and a private bathroom made George Read Residence Hall appealing, but the long walk to central campus for her classes was aggravating.
“That walk, the bridge, is just awful,” Wilt said. “I remember I would be walking back from class and get to the bridge and sigh and be like, ‘I still have to walk some more.’”
Wilt said she thought George Read lacked a social environment compared to other older freshman residence halls. Because students had their own self-contained space, they tended to remain in their own rooms rather than in the hallways or lounges, Wilt said.
Plasker said she lived in Ray Street C on the edge of North Campus last year, and it was not her first choice. She said she requested to live on East Campus, and had not even heard of the Ray Street complex until she was assigned to it.
When she walked into her room for the first time, she said she was happy to discover she was not going to live in a small room with no air conditioning. She also was pleased that the students were very social in her building.
“It took awhile for all of us to warm up to each other, but by mid-semester, we were all really good friends,” Plasker said. “Everyone’s door was always open.”
Overall, she said she enjoyed living in Ray Street, but she thinks East Campus would probably have been a more social experience. Now she lives in the Christiana East Tower.
Junior Andrew Caulfieldlived in Russell Hall during his freshman year and said the honors program did a good job of promoting a strong sense of community.
“Our floor had a pretty good balance,” Caulfield said. “It was really involved. There was no pressure to go out partying. I could stay on the floor and there would still be stuff to do.”
Senior James McParland, who also lived in Russell Residence Hall during his freshman year, said he liked the social aspect of East Campus. He said residence halls that have been recently built or renovated have the best living conditions.
He and Caulfield both said they have not ventured to West Campus more than once or twice.
“East and West Campus are very isolated from each other,” McParland said. “They’re so far away and there are no classes near either one of them. [Students on East Campus] have no reason to go over there except to see someone or study with people.”
Plasker said she thinks West Campus residence halls have the worst living conditions on campus.
“They’re tearing [West Campus dorms] down for a reason,” she said. “It’s just kind of gross over there and out of the way.”
While some students who have lived on West Campus acknowledged that the facilities are not as new as other residence halls, they said they had positive social experiences.
Freshman Andrew Spagnolosaid he was “underwhelmed” when he saw his room in Dickinson Complex for the first time. He said he was upset he was paying the same housing fees as someone living in George Read when he had a tiny room with bugs and no air conditioning.
“You see college dorms in movies and TV shows, and it just looked nothing like that,” Spagnolo said.
Despite his initial disappointment, Spagnolo said he has adjusted to living in Dickinson, andsaid he would not choose to live anywhere else. He said he loves that he can walk into any of the buildings in the Dickinson Complex and already know someone.
Freshman Cole Hutchinson said he ranked Dickinson high on his housing request form because he had heard from currentstudents that living in Dickinson was a “good time.”
“My expectations were low considering I had known someone who lived in Dickinson,” Hutchinson said. “I was pleasantly surprised at how nice everyone was and how close everyone got really quickly.”
Spagnolo and Hutchinson both said they feel like West Campus is a tight-knit community. They said they do not venture to East Campus very often, and think that area has its own self-contained community as well.
Plasker said she thinks housing for upperclassmen on North Campus tends to have the best dorm faculties on campus.
“I’d say Independence, James Smith, Thomas McKean [are the nicest] only because it’s new and it’s right in that quad,” she said.
McParland said he thinks the atmosphere of North Campus is better for small, close groups of friends.Likewise, Hutchinson said he views this area as “exclusive” with everyone wanting to do their own thing and not wanting to branch out.
“Once you’re in the [Christiana] Towers, you kind of already have your group established and you don’t see people whose doors are open constantly as you would freshman year,” McParland said.
Caulfield currently lives in Sharp Hall and lived there the previous year. He said he is just as happy living in Sharp Hall as he was his freshman year in Russell Hall. He said is still living with many of the same people who lived on his floor during his freshman year.