Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The End of the Suite Life

Even before Orientation, one of the first things a new student does is sign up for on-grounds housing. All first-year students are guaranteed (and, in fact, required) to live on grounds in one of three main areas exclusive to them: McCormick Road (old dorms), Alderman Road (new dorms) and the Gooch/Dillard complex. Built only about ten years apart, there are some minor differences between all of these areas. Old Dorms are hall-style with no air conditioning, but are closest to classes. New Dorms are a mix of suite-style and hall-style, air conditioning and no air conditioning, and elevators and no elevators. The Gooch/Dillard Complex is all suite-style with a common room and additional amenities, but is generally, the farthest away from classes (about ½ mile further). Students do not get to choose their dorms, but instead are randomly assigned to them. While there are variations between each area, no matter where a student lives, he or she will have many of the same things. For more information on roommates, resident advisors, and dorm rooms themselves please refer to The October blog post here: http://www.hoostories.com/2010/10/good-old-dorm-life.html

Alternative housing options are available. In fact, 20% of space within residential colleges is reserved for first-year students. For example, 60 first-years may apply to live in the International Residential College, which houses both international students and American students looking to live in a more cultural environment. Last year, all of these spots were taken, and as the student body increases, housing options must as well.

Thus, next year brings exciting news! The traditional “new” dorms (those that are suite style) Lile, Maupin, Tuttle and Webb are among those that will be torn down next year (no worries, alumni – the bricks are for sale!) and replaced by “new new” dorms, currently being built. Slated to open Fall of 2011 (that’s this year!), the newest dorms will be hall-style and include elevators, common rooms, and air conditioning, the likes of the current dorms Woody, Cauthen, and Kellogg. With less of the “suite” life, most students would agree, things are only getting sweeter.