The housing lottery opens up for sophomores on April 21 and, like years past, will be cutthroat. But unlike years past, most of you haven’t been able to see the inside of as many upperclassmen dorms as normal. Even so, you’re going to want to know what you’re getting yourself into when you pick a dorm, and the University’s “all housing is great housing” website descriptions won’t cut it. For obvious reasons, UR tends to avoid the nitty gritty details of how, say, Burton and Crosby have an obscene amount of insects.
Well look no further than the Campus Times’ very own official upperclassmen housing review! These are in no particular order, as no member of the CT Editorial Board has been in all of the below buildings to accurately rank them, and this article apparently isn’t “important enough” for University administrators to let us break guest policy.
Pros: Southside’s location makes it a great place for engineers and students who need to get to the Med Center. Otherwise, a regularly scheduled bus takes you to the main campus throughout the day. Each suite also has its own kitchen, so that’s a plus for those with dietary restrictions.
Cons: Southside, in general, looks like a prison — the towers look like giant jail cells. The maisonettes look like wardens’ homes. Southside’s version of Hillside, Southside Market, is never open.
Pros: Both the bedrooms and the common rooms in Riverview are quite spacious, and each person gets their own bathroom complete with tubs. There’s also a kitchen in each suite, and the general space is prime for hosting parties (once the pandemic is over).
Cons: The smoke detectors are some brave little toasters, or maybe the brave little toaster’s worst enemy. Either way, they’re very active, and very loud. Expect to be bombarded when you’re just trying to make dinner in your kitchen. Additionally, the walls are famously thin, and of any student housing, Riverview is situated the farthest from campus. That may be why it’s not actually covered by UR Facilities; a private company owns the building, and has a separate facilities situation. Buildings D and E are haunted.
Pros: Like Riverview, Brooks has a kitchen in each suite and an individual bathroom for each bedroom. Unlike Riverview, it’s closer to campus and an easier walk in the wintertime. It’s also directly in front of the river, which means you get a fantastic view, especially at the upper levels.
Cons: The rooms are notoriously chilly, and they’re smaller than the ones in Riverview. Additionally, it’s ridiculously difficult to land a spot in Brooks, as the spaces fill up almost as soon as the lottery opens.
Pros: Both Crosby and Burton are definitely a step up from living on the First-Year Quad. Most of the rooms are singles, and they even have sinks! Super special for sophomores who’ve had enough with waiting for 14 other people to finish their morning and nighttime routines.
Cons: They fill up fast, so unless you get a good spot in the housing lottery, you’re out of luck. The atmosphere isn’t as social and there isn’t as much common space as in the First-Year halls, which, depending on your preferences, can either be a relief or a problem. It’s in the Quad, so there aren’t any elevators.
Pros: If you lived in Tiernan this year and thought, “Man, I just can’t get enough of this,” do we have the location for you. Maybe your first year didn’t go exactly as planned, and you want a redo. Maybe you just hate change. Either way, if the thought of communal bathrooms titillates you, consider shooting for a single here. At least it’s near WilCo.
Cons: A great place to go if you can put up with the loud music and drunk laughter that comes with living directly across from several fraternity houses. It’s also in the Quad, so still no elevators. Guess we don’t get to be ADA compliant.
Pros: Hill Court, more commonly referred to as “Phase,” is sophomore city (mostly because other suite-style living fills up before sophomores get their crack at the lottery). This doesn’t make it bottom of the barrel, though; with moderately sized common spaces, balconies, and both student parking spaces and Hillside nearby, it has just as many benefits as any other suite-style dorm. The lofted suites provide nice separation between work and sleep, which has been especially noticeable this year during remote classes.
Cons: It’s a hike to get anywhere, and the bridge you have to take can get downright scary when it’s windy. Also, finding five friends who you want to live with sounds nice, until your favorite friend becomes an RA, your second-favorite turns out to be impossible to live with, and you slowly drift away from the other three as you all grow as individuals. Lofted suites provide a nice opportunity to bang your head against the ceiling.
Pros: In Wilder, each suite gets their own decently sized common room, large enough for non-pandemic pregames. There are also individual rooms and the occasional opportunity for dingles (double rooms that function as singles). The garbage chutes are conveniently placed for easy trash disposal.
Cons: The center doubles in Anderson and Wilder are quite small and don’t have any common areas. Additionally, there are a lot of people sharing one bathroom, and the entire floor shares a kitchen — which means it gets very gross, very fast.
Pros: Much like how Lovejoy is a repeat of Tiernan, O’Brien is a copy of Genesee. (Well, actually, O’Brien’s the older brother). On the first floor, the building has a help desk (so you can feel like you live in a hotel), dance studio, and Res Life offices. The other three floors are mostly doubles and singles, but incredibly fancy, comparatively speaking. Be prepared to have not only a sink, but an automatic soap dispenser in your bedroom. With amenities like this, you can rest assured that your recently increased tuition is being put to good use. Jokes aside, the view for residents facing the river is fantastic. In addition, there are large communal living rooms.
Cons: There are a few single-person bathrooms on each floor, but those and other larger bathrooms are communal. Super gross. Also, most rooms are doubles, with not a lot of privacy. Residents are also on the quieter side, which can be an issue for extroverts.
If none of these options sound appealing, you can always avoid housing completely and spend your days (and nights) in the library. Who needs sleep when you attend a top research institution?
The Editorial Board is a weekly Opinions article representing the view of the Campus Times, co-written by Editor-in-Chief Hailie Higgins, Publisher Ethan Busch, Managing Editors Corey Miller-Williams and Olivia Alger, Special Projects Editor Micah Greenberg, and Opinions Editor Lucy Farnham.