Campus dorms offer an array of features for different preferences

Students+are+going+back+to+the+Illinois+Street+Residential+Hall+after+class+at+noon+on+January+27%2C+2015

Irina Zhang | Staff photographer

Students are going back to the Illinois Street Residential Hall after class at noon on January 27, 2015

By Harsha Bellamkonda

In fact, the summer before college began, it took my roommate and I two weeks to decide where to live. We were convinced that the wrong decision would ruin our social lives for the next four years on campus.

However, what’s more important than the specific hall you select is the group it’s part of. To make this clearer, here’s an example: Illinois Street Residence Halls is made up of Townsend Hall and Wardall Hall.

The differences between those two are minimal. What truly matters is the features of ISR in general. That’s how it works.

Without further ado, I present to you a general guide of most of the University Housing dorms, including a list of pros and cons.

Ikenberry North/South

Includes:

1. Barton and Lundgren (North)

2. Hopkins (North)

3. Nugent (North)

4. Weston (North)

5. Scott (South)

6. Snyder (South)

7. Taft Van-Doren (South)

8. Bousfield (South)

Quick facts: Barton is all female. Lundgren is all male. The rest are co-ed. Hopkins, Nugent, Weston, Scott, Snyder and Bousfield are air-conditioned. Nugent and Bousfield are mostly filled with upperclassmen.

Pros: The Ikenberry dorms are close to the Armory, Memorial Stadium and the ARC. The Ikenberry Dining Hall is the biggest dining hall on campus, and also includes an a la carte option — 57 North. The Ikenberry Common Area has its own library and study areas as well. Also, the entire area has its own little quad.

Cons: The Ikenberry dorms are a little far from the Main Quad and Engineering Quad. Also, the Ikenberry Dining Hall is a little crowded at times due to the high concentration of students living in one area.

Florida Avenue Residence Halls (FAR)

Includes:

1. Oglesby

2. Trelease

Quick facts: Both Oglesby and Trelease are air-conditioned. Both halls are co-ed. There is also one game room in each hall.

Pros: Adam Oufkir, freshman in DGS, said, “I like that it’s a little more quiet than Champaign. It feels homey.”

He also said he likes the food offered at FAR: “We have soul food. It’s freaking good.”

In addition, all rooms have new, loftable furniture. FAR is close to the College of ACES and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Break housing is available. This means that students can stay in their own rooms over fall and spring break — for an additional charge.

Cons: Living on the eleventh floor, Oufkir said, “I hate how big it is. Getting to the top floor is a pain in the neck.”

FAR is also far away from the Quad and is on the south-eastern corner of campus.

Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Hall (PAR)

Includes:

1. Babcock

2. Blaisdell

3. Carr

4. Saunders

Quick facts: All halls are co-ed. There are no triples available. There is no air-conditioning.

Pros: All rooms have loftable furniture. Babcock and Saunders have newly-remodeled, individual-use bathrooms. PAR Dining Hall has stir fry and offers After Dark late dinner, which is a great option for students who return home late after studying.

Cons: Just like FAR, PAR is also far away from the Quad. However, the 13S Silver bus goes straight to PAR and FAR, so that’s a huge advantage for residents.

Illinois Street Resident Halls (ISR)

Includes:

1. Townsend

2. Wardall

Quick facts: Both halls are co-ed. All rooms are air-conditioned.

Pros: Zach Pease, freshman in Engineering, said the location is very convenient.

“If I need to go to any of my classes, they’re at most a 10-minute walk away.”

ISR is very close to the Main Quad, Engineering Quad and Krannert. That’s a huge pro.

ISR Dining Hall has an a la carte option. All rooms have new, loftable furniture. Also, break housing is available at an additional charge.

Cons: ISR is known to be a little on the quieter side.

Pease commented on a few qualities he disliked.

“The food is a little lacking,” he said. “My furniture has a bit of wear-and-tear.”

Allen Hall

Quick facts: Allen Hall is co-ed. There is no air-conditioning. Quad rooms are available. Allen is home to the Unit One LLC. Allen has a darkroom and even has in-hall classes for credit. It’s a great hall for creative people.

Pros: Kaustubh Vongole, freshman in Engineering, lives at Allen and said he loves the atmosphere.

“My floor is really social, everybody’s always outside, (and) the food’s really good. Maybe ties for best with Ikenberry,” he said.

Allen is also close to Krannert and CRCE. Rooms have loftable furniture and music practice rooms. Allen also has its own library.

Cons: While Vongole likes the social aspect of living at Allen, he dislikes the lack of air conditioning.

“The first two weeks were torture,” he said.

While many students share his opinion, to be fair, air conditioning is only necessary during the first six weeks of classes.

Allen is on the eastern edge of campus. Therefore, it’s a bit far from the Main Quad and Engineering Quad. The entire hall is an LLC, so if you’re not interested in joining one, you might be discouraged. However, you don’t have to participate in the activities.

In retrospect, it’s easy to see that my roommate and I were extremely wrong and slightly petty when we were stressing over the importance of choosing the perfect place to live.

I’ve only been on campus for a month, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that no matter where you live, it’s extremely easy to meet new people, have a raging social life and form bonds that last years.

All incoming freshmen should know this. I wish I knew it before freaking out over picking a dorm.

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