When I tell students where I live, I always receive the same response: “Ugh,” or “wow that’s so far away,” or the ever popular “oh?cool?” accompanied by a fake smile. Yes, I live in Southside, or GLC, as some call it. But you shouldn’t feel bad for me, fellow quad or Towers dwellers, because I like where I live. In fact, I really wouldn’t want to live anywhere else on campus.
I’ve done the whole “corridor-living” situation, and I must say, it’s not really for me. Sure, living around all of your friends is fun, but it’s also nice sharing a bathroom with only one other person and having two locked doors between you and that occasional drunk student looking to pass out in the first available bed they find. Walking from my bed to my desk in my old double room took only two baby-steps, but in my luxurious Southside high-rise (I am on the 11th floor), it’s practically exercise! Yes, the walk to Southside from the center of campus is somewhat lengthy, but, when you think about it, it really isn’t that much longer of a walk than it is to Phase. In the end, Southside gives you much more in return for what you end up losing.
Imagine walking through the door of your very own apartment (notice how mature that sounds). You walk into your own room because, yes, if you live in Southside, you are guaranteed a single room. The windows in your room stretch almost as high as the ceiling and let in immense amounts of light. Did I mention that according to scientists, human beings tend to thrive better in natural light than in artificial? You throw your book bag on your bookshelf, but not the one that came with your room, the extra one you bought from Wal-mart because you had so much extra space to play around with. You plop down in your big, comfy chair and blast your TV on high volume because you don’t have to worry about the roommate that is already back and studying.
By this point you’re awfully hungry and think “damn, I have to walk all the way to the Pit to get a slice of pizza.” As you’re heading out the door you remember “no I don’t! I live in Southside – I have a full size refrigerator that can fit 10 large pizza boxes inside it!” After you enjoy your five slices of left-over pizza at the table located in your convenient eat-in kitchen, you think, “thank God I have my very own stove so that I can make eggs and French toast tomorrow morning before class.”
Your stomach may now be full, but you’re still stressed. After a long day of classes and Facebooking, it’s important for students to relax. Luckily, Southside has already accomplished this for you. Because you have your own bathtub, you can now take bubble-baths at college too. You can even bring your own little yellow duckie from home because you don’t risk being walked in on. Southside has also provided you with padded comfy desk chairs that even rock back and forth – they’re comfortable when you have work to do, but even better when you’re playing around and trying to see how far back you can push it without tumbling over. But the comfort doesn’t stop there; elevators are also a part of Southside living, because after that long walk back from campus, you shouldn’t have to use stairs.
Of course, if you don’t feel like walking back to your dorm, then catch one of the cozy shuttles that jet back and forth between Southside and Rush Rhees. With the friendly atmosphere, you’ll forget all about the fact that you feel slightly claustrophobic. If you’re lucky enough to have a car, parking is readily available in Southside’s very own parking lot that’s just steps away. Even if you don’t own a car you can still enjoy the fact that the lot overlooks the Erie Canal…which is sweet! With the addition of the Maisonettes to the undergraduate housing options, even more students will be able to join the wonderful community that is Southside in the fall of 2007.
So this year, when you’re filling out housing applications, consider Southside. It’s not quite as quaint as quad living, but think about it; in the end, what’s more important – quaintness or a yellow rubber duckie?
Kraus is a member of the class of 2009.