Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Residence (Res) Hall: Part I

There are two parts to this post. In the first, we'll discuss the different freshman residence halls and what they have to offer. I'll try to get some picture up in here, but I make no promises. Part II will discuss the room itself, what's inside, and different configurations of furniture to consider.

The freshman halls are as follows: Bornhuetter (pronounced "born heater", remember?), Bissman, Compton, Douglass, and Wagner. Like everything else on campus, they are named after the generous souls who paid the money to build them.  You will see the name "Gault" on a LOT of things, because, in my humble opinion, the man is an AMAZING philanthropist. Alas, I digress. Onto the res halls!

Bornhuetter Hall (AKA B-hut, Born)

Fun fact: those shutter looking things are ALL GLASS. Don't play kickball in front of this building.

This is the newest freshman hall and is quite nice. It's where I lived freshman year and below is a diagram drawn by moi (with my infinite artist skills) of the building.  You ready for this?

Compared to the other halls, these rooms are probably the biggest (outside of some rooms in Douglass) and are very rectangular. As far as set-up goes, usually just picking a side of the room is the best arrangement, but that's up to you and whoever is lucky enough to be stuck with you to decide :) The two wings are not connected except for at the basement.  Otherwise, you have to go to the first floor and go outside to get between. There are two sides to the building "Beall Side" and "Wayne Side", which refers to which street your room is along. You may get asked which side you live on, and you now know how to properly respond. You're welcome :)

This res hall features lounges at the end of each hallway, which is nice, and what I refer to as "Study Boxes". They stick out from the lounges, and have nice windows looking to the outside of the building. A great place to stalk people as they enter! (Jk... kinda)  The BATHROOMS are quite nice with showers separated by walls and each one has a bathtub and handicap accessible shower in it as well as four-ish stalls (I can't remember the exact number). Here's a bit of what the boxes look like, since you can't see them well on the res life website.

There's a bench in each of those nooks as well.  Each hallway has it's own mini-fridge and microwave, and B-hut also features a multi-purpose room with sound system and projector, as well as a kitchen to use, if you feel so moved. Born also has a parking lot behind it, so IF YOU HAVE A CAR get a pass as EARLY AS POSSIBLE. The north lots usually fill up first, so act fast! The only criticism people seem to have of Born is that it looks a bit like an insane asylum. The lights in the halls are very bright, and the walls are very white as well. We only ever kept half of the lights on in our hall, and it was fine that way.  Despite its hospital-like vibe when empty, as soon as everyone moved in it sprang to life. It also helped that we got lots of posters, because those cinder block walls in the rooms look awfully gloomy without them. On a scale of one to awesome, I would rate B-hut as an awesome, but I am also personally biased, since I lived there. 

Bissman Hall

I would have put a picture of the front of the building, but I'm a space cadet and forgot to take it so here's a lounge!!

Bissman was the home of the Greeks, until last year.  They have since been moved into houses, and Bissman was repainted, carpeted and did some other refurbishments in order to make Bissman much more clean and tidy.  It was in quite a shabby state before, but since the small renovations have happened, it is quite nice. The rooms are the smallest of the freshman dorms and make for a comfortable single person room (single), but a cramped double person room (double).  Mind you, there are smaller rooms that have existed, but it takes some maneuvering to get the right set up.  Bissman features a few Kitchens, which is nice, and a pool table as well. Another feature of Bissman is the parking lot directly behind it. Again, since it's a North lot you'll need to act as quickly as possible to get a spot.

The halls are separated into sections, and each section has it's own bathroom. The BATHROOMS have big showers separated by curtains. Not the most private on campus, but the curtains still do the job. Overall, Bissman is nice, but the rooms are small. Luckily there are plenty of lounges to hang out in, and with some clever lofting, it will feel like home in no time.

Douglass Hall (AKA Douggie)

Conveniently located right off the Quad! 

Douglass Hall was once the home for many upperclassmen, but lucky you! You get to experience it as a first year. Douglass, though old, is quite a nice building. It is a hall-style building, like all the others, and features a very nice lounge on the first floor.  There is a kitchen in the basement, along with a multi-purpose area featuring (get ready for this) A SHUFFLE BOARD COURT! That's right, all of you shuffle board stars that were disappointed by the fact that it isn't an NCAA endorsed sport, now is YOUR TIME to shine!

Like these hot young foxes!

"You see the cutie over there, Gertrud? MMmmM I'd like to shuffle his board!"

This is also sometimes where special lessons for LET'S DANCE! SOCIETY are hosted.  Want to know more about Let's Dance!? Email or comment, because it's basically the best (and only) place on campus to learn how to swing/ballroom dance at college.  <end shameless plug> Douglass also features and interesting attic area, that I haven't been to, but I hear is great for Halloween parties and such.

ANYWHO my experience with the bathrooms in Douglass is limited, being that I was only in there once after having to shower off from this adventure:

Mud sliding (and rolling) behind the PEC

We got clean, so apparently the showers in there work REALLY well. The rooms in Douglass, from what I hear, are a decent size, and there are multiple sizes from triples on down. Any upperclassmen who have more info on Douglass, feel free to comment.

Compton Hall (Classy Compton)

So classy...

Compton was once an all-girls hall for both freshman and upperclassmen females. Now it houses both female and male first year students. It's connected to Kittregde Hall, a dining facility open for lunch 5 days a week, and has many spacious lounges.  There is also a sacred space in Compton for prayer, meditation, or calling home when you don't feel like going outside. Additionally there is a very nice parlor on the first floor.  The BATHROOMS in Compton are quite nice, but do have showers separated by curtains, not walls in most cases.

Wagner Hall (AKA the Schwag Pad)

They got Schwag.

The Schwag Pad is not the nicest first year res hall. However, it is a prime place for first year bonding experiences! You should also be comforted by the fact that Wagner is getting a fresh coat of paint this summer.  It's not actually too bad, most people actually end up liking it. The only complaints are that the lights are super dim (so bring an extra lamp or rope lights if your placed here!) and that it smells a bit funky, but overall the people who live there end up liking it very well. The room size is pretty decent, from what I hear. As I get more information from people who have lived there I will be sure to post it!


  1. I have a picture of Bissman if you'd like it.

  2. Compton is co-ed now? That just seems WEIRD.

    Here is my room in Compton from my first year, so you can see the built-in closet/dresser and built-in desks. If they didn't change that, too. :P