True life: I live in university housing
The inside scoop about dorm life: which residence halls are loud, dirty, quiet, spacious
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2008
Updated: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 15:01
Do you want a sophisticated apartment, non-stop partying or a tight-knit community?
On-campus housing selection begins on Monday for next year, and for any students rallying for another year of dorm life, it's best to look beyond the pages of the university Web site and get some inside information on what life in each of the dorms is really like.
Check it out:
Swig is home to the combined Delphi and Cypress Residential Learning Communities to make the Cyphi RLC (pronounced like sci-fi), and its themes are arts and sustainability. The rooms are all doubles, except for one floor that also has single options.
Sophomore Nathan Wirtz said, "It's loud, but it's a fun atmosphere. It's easy to make friends. People are always leaving their doors open."
Every floor has two lounges, one for fun and one for quiet. The 11th floor is called the Sky Lounge and has a great view, and there are two kitchens in the building. The rooms include a sink, two closets, drawers and two beds. According to Wirtz, the rooms are on the smaller side, but there are creative ways to make it work. He and his roommate lofted their beds and put their desks underneath, so they managed to add a queen-size bed and a couch.
Aside from Swig, Dunne can easily be called one of the liveliest residence halls at Santa Clara. Located on the corner of Market and Lafayette Streets (aka -- the "light side"), Dunne is known for being active during party nights. Residents estimated that on any given Friday night, 80 to 85 percent of residents go out to parties located on the streets close by. On non-party nights, residents in the Modern Perspectives RLC socialize by wandering from room to room resulting from the numerous doors that remain open on every floor. It's a very social and diverse environment, and residents always run into someone they know in the hallways and elevator.
The rooms, all doubles, are slightly larger than in other dorms, and each contains a sink. Because Dunne is one of the liveliest dorms, it's also known for getting trashed on weekends. The toilets and sinks in the bathrooms usually get clogged with vomit or other bodily fluids. In general, the Dunne social scene is similar to Swig's because of their common location on the light side. Dunne is not as dirty as Swig, but not as quiet as Sobrato or Casa.
As two underclassmen residence halls, Walsh and McLaughlin have the social scene of Dunne and Swig in a quieter environment and a smaller setting. While Walsh and McLaughlin are still close to the festivities of the light side, they are not located directly on the street and avoid some of the craziness associated with the party dorms. Additionally, Walsh and McLaughlin only have three floors compared to Dunne's four floors and Swig's eleven floors. Because of this smaller size, residents of the Unity RLC, living in doubles, get to know everybody on their floor, as well as a lot of the people within the building.
Like the other underclassmen dorms, residents living in Walsh and McLaughlin complain about getting charged fines for damage to the building and bathrooms, but they say that neighbors are overall respectful of one another. The buildings are usually active on Friday nights, with the majority of the students getting ready and going out to parties in the nearby houses. Students say the buildings' locations are optimal because they are within easy access to Benson, classes and weekend parties.
Campisi has quite a lot of perks, thanks to the asbestos-spurred renovation over the summer. Now there is a personal air-conditioning system in every room, sills come with the windows and a fresh paint smell that still lingers in the stairwells.
"It's really relaxing and homey. I like that everything is carpeted. You can walk around barefoot," said sophomore Julianne Flores.
Known more for its sense of community than a party atmosphere, Campisi tends to stay on the quiet side during weekend nights.
"There's really not a lot that goes on here on weekends. People just get ready to go out, but then it gets quiet for a couple hours when everyone leaves," said sophomore Daniel Perry.
Bellarmine, located off campus next to Taco Bell, used to be a hotel that is now converted into a dorm. Therefore the dorm has some hotel amenities that are nice for students. Each room has its own bathroom with a Jacuzzi bathtub and kitchenette. Freshman Sarah Hui picked the Communitas RLC because its theme is local action with compassion.
"It's peaceful, and you get to do a lot of walking," she said.
Freshman Beth Cason admits that Bellarmine generally gets a bad reaction because it's secluded.
"People don't hang out here, they hang out in other dorms," she said. Hui said that she has not met as many people as she may have if she lived somewhere like Swig. Bellarmine is about half freshmen and half other grades. Bellarmine's location is very convenient for Safeway and University Chicken.
Located between Campisi and Casa Italiana, Sanfilippo is a three-story dorm and shares a sunny quad with Campisi. The rooms tend to feel generally more spacious, thanks to the lofted ceilings and generously large sink area.
"The big closets are probably my favorite part. They're huge," said freshman Inna Asthana.
When the weekend comes around, Sanfilippo is lively, but manages to keep from reaching obnoxious noise levels.
"It's a perfect balance here, never too loud, but it's never too quiet either. I already know I want to live here next year," said freshman Kathryn Choo.
There is a strong sense of community, but it tends to more strongly bind freshman to freshman and sophomores to sophomores. * Graham
It may not have a pool in the quad anymore, but the Graham complex still has plenty to offer. Comprised of four two-story buildings, Graham has girls living on the second floor, while boys live on the first. With only about 50 to 60 residents per building, news spreads fast in the tight community.