Known for its graffiti-covered tunnels and “riot-proof” hallways, the Butterfields (Butts) are located on the edge of campus near Exley Science Center.
The Butts are divided into three separate buildings—Butt A, B and C—and consist of mostly singles, with spacious doubles at the end of each hallway. The rooms are occupied by freshmen and sophomores and have self-locking doors. The Butts share one large laundry facility, which is located in the colorful tunnels under Butt B.
Compared with some of the other dorms, it is a relatively long trek to get from the Butts to the center of campus. But some students say they do not mind the isolation in exchange for the peace and quiet. Students also enjoy the convenience of the Summerfields dining hall, located in Butt C, and of Wes Wings, only a short walk away.
Some students like the community-oriented feel that the narrow hallways give the dorm.
“The hallways are very communal,” said Alan Rodi ’12, who lives in a double. “It feels like you can just walk out into the hall and it feels like you’re right next to people.”
Other students don’t have such fond feelings.
“[The dorm is like] a little like a prison, the halls are a little [winding] and weird and I don’t particularly like the cinder blocks,” said Annika Butler-Wall ’12, who lives in a single in Butt A.
The fourth floor of Butt C, which consists of about ten rooms, is designated as “Substance-Free.” Students on this floor pledge not to possess or bring alcoholic beverages to the floor or to return to the floor inebriated.
Each of the Butts has a fairly spacious lounge that is furnished with sofas and televisions. Students can play ping-pong in the Butt A lounge or shoot pool in the Butt B lounge. Butt B also features a newly installed kitchen, although students complain that it can get dirty and that it is much too small given the number of students who use it.
Students looking to live in a quiet, out of the way dorm should look no further than the Butterfields.
Residents rave that the Nicolson dorms are located in prime territory—they sit on top of Foss Hill and are close to Usdan and the Freeman Athletic Center. Divided into Nicolson 5, 6, and 7, the dorms are home to freshmen and sophomores.
Room options include singles, doubles and two room doubles. For the latter option, two students share a unit that has two rooms with a door in between the rooms. Since there is only one door leading to the hall, the student living in the interior room must pass through the others’ room to enter or exit the unit. Students see the two room doubles as the best of both worlds: they combine the experience of having a roommate with the privacy of living in a single.
Some of the luckier students also have rooms leading out to balconies, where they can enjoy the view and get some fresh air.
Students find the Nics to be pretty quiet—on weekends most residents go elsewhere for parties. The Nic Lounge does provide a social space, however, and hosts many events and student performances.
“There’s always something going on in that lounge,” said Rebecca Fonticoba ‘12. “Dance groups, improv comedy shows, or a cappella.”
As for the worst part of living in the Nics, one student said it can take a long time for maintenance to do their rounds.
“Things break a lot and we run out of soap and it takes days for them to replace it,” said Michael Inkles ’12.
Nicolson houses Japanese Hall, Film Hall and French Hall, which are a part of campus’s program housing community. The Nicolsons also have single sex floors where students can live in an all-male environment (Nicolson 5.5) or an all-female environment (Nicolson 5).
Just a three-minute walk from Usdan, Hewitt is located next to the Van Vleck observatory. Hewitt dorms are composed of mostly singles typically inhabited by sophomores. Doubles are located at the end of each hall and house freshmen. With the exception of lower levels of Foss 9 and 10, rooms include balconies.
“When it’s spring or summer I have the best view on campus,” Kami Nzeribe ’11 said. “I can just go out my balcony with my rocking chair listening to music, and drink espresso.”
But the balcony comes with a cost.
“I left my balcony door open and this fat squirrel came in,” Nzeribe said.
The singles in Hewitt were originally two-room doubles, but the doors leading between rooms have been shut permanently. As a result, some students complain that sound travels easily through the thin doors.
“If you get a room with a door, you can hear people shifting around on the other side,” said Layne Flower ’11. “It’s fine if you like the person, but otherwise, it’s a little weird.”
The dorm is divided into Foss 8, 9, and 10, has a main laundry room below Foss 8 and a smaller one in Foss 10. The Hewitt kitchen is the largest of dorm kitchens, and the lounge tends to be a tranquil space.
“Our lounge is pretty quiet, not a lot of people use it,” said Samantha Hodges ’11. “Some people use it at night for homework.”
Nzeribe added that on weekends, other students often visit their friends in the dorm, and parties can get rowdy.
“On Fridays and Saturdays it can get loud, but it’s tolerable,” he said.
LoRise and HiRise
The LoRise and HiRise apartments, intended for junior housing, are located between Williams and Church Street on the way to Broad Street Books.
Each LoRise apartment has two floors and houses four students. The top floor has four separate bedrooms that are small, but students are pleased with the spacious kitchen and living room downstairs.
“Dorms don’t even approach the space that apartments have, between the kitchen and the bedrooms,” said Josh Gordon ’10.
Besides the extra space, Nina Cohodes ’09 said the best part about living in LoRise is the company.
“I like having my own kitchen and having common places to have people come over for dinner parties,” she said. “I like having someone around when I come home, and having someone to talk to.”
Students also take advantage of the small grassy areas within the complex—LoRise residents can often be seen lounging outside on warm, sunny days.
The spacious apartments and open areas are hot spots for University parties.
“It comes in waves,” Gordon said. “After breaks there are always parties. When you walk outside, you can just hear where the people are.”
In HiRise, two students live in one of two types of apartments. The bigger units have a separate kitchen and living room while in the smaller ones those two rooms are combined. Both designs have two single bedrooms.
Rushar Chin ’10, who lives in one of the larger units, said her apartment provides the peace and quiet that dorm life lacked.
“It’s more personal than living in a dorm,” she said. “You can kind of get away from the madness of living with twenty other people.”
According to Chin, the worst part of “the rises” is their location.
“It’s far from things like SciLi and Freeman,” she said. “You have to go up a hill. But other than that, I really like living here.”