Photo by Michaela Flonard

The on-campus housing pros and cons you need to know

As housing selection begins, take a look at the places to live at TU and the reasons we love and hate them.

Norman Village
Situated in the northwest corner of campus, Norman Village is really only close to the Collins Fitness Center and the University school. This block has both two- and one-bedroom apartments, along with a pool and a clubhouse.
-The pool is barely used, and decently sized. Plus, the clubhouse has free food once a week and coffee when it’s open. I just have no clue when that is.
-It’s pretty quiet. A lot of the apartments seem abandoned, and otherwise, everyone else doesn’t seem to make a lot of noise.
-Design-wise, the kitchen is pretty big, enough to have two people wander around at the same time and not hate each other. The kitchen is a little more secluded from the rest of the room, as there’s a high bar-top.
-Deck! Multiple uses, including: hammock, garden, place to have parties and scream until two a.m. (you know who you are), bike storage and an overall great hangout spot during nice weather.
-The screaming children at University School. Apparently, children love to just scream when they’re outside, having fun. So. Expect to hear screams Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eventually, you learn to tune it out or think the children are adorable.
-Not really situated near any classes, though the walks to Chapman, Helmerich and Phillips aren’t too bad.
-The rooms seem to have an aversion to centrally-located lights. There’s one in the dining room, but not one in the living room area, meaning if you’re working there after dark, it’s hard to do anything. There are no central lights in the rooms either, just switches that control an electrical outlet.
-The screaming children really ruin my attempts at chilling out on the deck. Only about half the apartment block has that problem.

Mayo Village
In the southwest corner of campus, Mayo Village is closer to administrative buildings than to classrooms. But really, if you’re living in the newest and nicest apartments on campus, can you really complain?
-The floor plans are really conducive to party-throwing, if that is your kind of thing.
-Between the square-footage, layout and utilities, this block of the apartments is easily the closest to fair market value of TU’s apartments. Maybe that’s why they put all the athletes here.
-It is The Party VillageTM. There is no such thing as a peaceful weekend.
-The apartments are rife with illegal pets. Most of them don’t bark too much unless they are outside. The real problem is the people who don’t clean up after taking their dog out into the courtyard.
-No matter what classrooms you’re headed to, you’ll have a decent walk.

US West
Located on the far west side of campus across the Delaware River (er, avenue), here is the humble abode of workout warriors, philosophers and aspiring businessmen.
-Proximity to the gym! You think Norman is close to Collins? Child please, West is literally right next door. This is especially helpful in January when you want to get swole, but there’s a windchill of absolute zero.
-Trust me, West only feels far away from everything. It’s actually barely a three-minute walk from the business and arts & sciences colleges.
-Cost-effectiveness. College students are always complaining about being broke. So doesn’t it make sense to live in the least expensive apartment complex?
-Balconies are a real nice thing to have in the spring and fall.
-Though it’s not quite as bougie as Norman’s or Mayo’s, the centrally located pool is still an awesome hangout.
-There is at least one apartment with a taxidermy ram’s head inside. It may or may not be my own.
-I won’t sugarcoat this: there’s dog crap everywhere. You may think it’s adorable when your neighbor comes home with two slobbering puppies, but it won’t be long before you can’t walk in the grass anymore.
-Flooding is an issue. Heavy rain adversely affects any mostly-flat campus because the water accumulates in all sorts of weird places, but West’s drainage issues are a different beast entirely. You might want to invest in some rubber boots for when you walk down the stairs to find your breezeway blocked off in both directions by a miniature Marianas Trench.
-The floor tiles and countertops really lack the pizzazz of the newer complexes.
-Are you an engineer? Do you plan on eating anything besides home-cooked meals while on campus? You’re going to have a ways to walk, and that includes crossing a fairly busy street. At least you’ll get your steps in!
-There is at least one apartment with a taxidermy ram’s head inside. It may or may not be my own.

Brown Village
Brown Village is adjacent to Harvard Avenue on the east side of campus. Though it doesn’t have a pool or balconies like some of the other apartment complexes, it has its benefits.
-Prime location close to ACAC and Keplinger Hall, great for engineers and people with Dining Dollars!
-No staff on-site, so if you’re interested in illegally keeping a cat or burning a candle (you absolute savage, you), this is the place to do it.
-The apartments are spacious, and the kitchen appliances and cabinets are relatively new.
-The Brown Village apartments all have beautiful tall windows that let in lots of natural light.
-Lots of closet space!
-There is a high likelihood that your apartment will be overrun by roaches. Brown is notorious for pest problems.
-During game day, fans will park in your parking lot and campo will not ticket them. This will force you to drive around campus for half an hour looking for a parking spot. Staff will not let you park in any of the other lots because they are now all reserved for sports fans. You will wave your fist angrily and bitterly park in the US West lot.
-No staff on-site, so if you have a question or need help with something you’ll have to trek across campus to the Norman Village Clubhouse.
-The windows let in a lot of natural light, but they also let in the cold, which might affect your electricity bill during the winter.

Hardesty Hall
The newest housing on campus, this place has suite-style living: two in a room with two rooms sharing a bathroom.
-The furniture is super nice. Now you can have the loft bed you, or at least I, always dreamed of.
-You’re right next to ACAC and Kep, with everything else being not super far away. Mostly though, you can always get Subway.
-The lights are set to automatically go off. Which is a great energy saving idea that I would normally adore. It’s just that if you, and your roommate, end up doing work or watching Netflix or something and not moving for long enough, they shut off, and then you’re forced to dangerously dangle from the top bunk to get them to turn back on.
-Sharing a tub and toilet can be stressful if you’re in a rush and someone else is there and they take their sweet time.
-The whole hall, at least when I was there, was kinda dead. Not a ton of social life. If you want a quiet dorm, this is a step up from Lottie, but don’t expect much.

Lottie Jane
Located just off of the Old U, or Dietler Commons, and across from the Pat Case Dining Center. Jam-packed full of traditions and superstitions, it’s a great way to find a place for yourself on campus.
-Lottie might be haunted by Lottie herself (who is, by most accounts, a sweetheart). There are reports of strange things (broken floors, broken picture frames, books falling over) when people obstruct the view from Lottie Jane Mabee and John Mabee, a married couple whose portraits stand in the lobbies of their respective halls, directly across from each other.
-There are so many lounges! Some are set aside as social lounges, others strictly study lounges with effective 24/7 quiet hours. They’re stocked with comfy couches and spacious tables.
-Lottie and the John collaborate often, most notably with the annual Mabee Week, where they bring in Topeka, Paul Mitchell cosmetologists and other campus-wide events with different activities every day.
-It’s an all-girls hall, so you can be assured that you’re surrounded by people with similar life experiences and shared struggles that make it into a unique community.
-If you’re not a fan of girls, this hall isn’t for you, since it is an all-girls hall.
-It might be haunted, so if Buzzfeed Unsolved and other ghost-hunting-lite shows freak you out, consider how much you believe in ghosts before signing up.
-The rooms vary wildly in size, so knowing what to expect is hit-or-miss.

John Mabee
The hall is located across from Lottie on the old U, directly east of Chapman Hall.
-Rooms are rather large, with two closets per double and a sink-and-mirror combo by the door in each room.
-Study rooms are numerous and often empty, making for good spots to quietly work in a different environment.
-The elevator kind of works.
-The snack machine in the basement doesn’t take campus cards, and the drink machine often gets jammed.
-On at least one occasion, a couple of students set off the fire alarm in the kitchen. Frequent drills mean standing in the cold in pajamas.
-The laundry room is consistently swamped with forgotten clothing and smells dryly of burnt lint. Roaches like to climb into peoples’ hampers, though their population has been recently curbed.

West Suites
This hall is located on the corner of 8th and Delaware, connected to the cafeteria and the Housing offices.
-Everyone gets their own room in a suite, and each suite has three-to-four rooms, a bathroom and a living room. This is the holy grail of personal space in residence halls.
-There are laundry rooms on every floor. If you’ve ever had to lug your laundry up and down three flights of stairs every time you wanted to wash clothes, you’ll understand that a close laundry room defines what it means to be living a good life.
-As the smallest building on campus and with the privacy of the suites, West lends itself to as much or as little community interaction as you want.
-Again, as the smallest building on campus with the privacy of suites, it can start to feel a little lonely, especially if you don’t have an established social circle yet.
-The ceilings are incredibly short, and the lobby is diminishingly small, which makes the hall feel emptier than it really is.
-You have to clean your own bathroom, which isn’t a problem until you have messy suitemates who refuse to wipe the sink or pick up after themselves.

Fisher South
Fisher South is located in the westernmost corner of campus. It’s exclusive to freshmen and designed to help shape the freshman year experience.
-The cool three-story design with open lobbies on each floor. It looks neat and is also super conducive to making friends, as people tend to hang out in the lobbies. There’s lots of lounge space on each floor.
-The hall is exclusive to freshmen, which makes it easier to make friends going into your first year of college — everyone’s in the same boat and looking to meet new people!
-Located immediately next to the caf, so you don’t have to walk very far through the cold/rain/sleet/heat to grab a bite.
-Events are often hosted in Fisher South, so there’s typically a lot of activity.
-Fisher South is probably the least updated hall, so the rooms and furnishings aren’t necessarily top notch.
-The cinder block walls are sort of gloomy, and it’s difficult to hang things on them.
-Communal bathrooms. Some people don’t mind this, but it can be a con when you have 15 minutes to take a shower and all of them are full.
-There’s only one laundry room, and you have to walk through the first-floor boys’ hallway to get to it.

Post Author: tucollegian