All dorm rooms, in my opinion, will end up feeling the same after you have lived there for two weeks. What makes or breaks a living community hinges on sink availability and the effort required to go to the University Union. That’s it.
Dickinson Community: A+
It’s modern and close to the Chenango Champlain Collegiate Center (C4) — which allows access to all of the curly fries and chicken strips your drunk heart desires. There’s also no hill to trek back on when you just want a nap after your 8 a.m. class. The Dickinson Community has snatched first place largely by its ultra-convenient location, being near the Union and right in the middle of all the bus stops, so there is no running to catch a bus for your off-campus classes. But what pushed it to the top is its flat-housing style. Each flat holds four or five residents and includes an entry vestibule with a tabletop and sink. This adds a sense of privacy, as well as hygiene, since there is a separate space for all the forgotten dishes to live.
College-in-the-Woods is also one of the best communities for its location, being right across the University Union. True to its name, there is a sense of being in nature when you’re hanging out around its grounds. The dorms themselves are old, which gives off a cozy vibe, and it is superior to other dorm-style communities — not the least because of there being a full kitchen and laundry on each floor. Cozy vibes are also present in its dining hall. (Here’s a tip for off-campus folks — if you want to save on food without carrying a lunch box around, try getting your meals in the College-in-the-Woods dining hall instead of the Marketplace.)
Hinman College: A-
The first thing that non-Hinman residents think of when they hear “Hinman” is probably the Hinman Production Company, which puts on plays and acts every season, ranging from popular stage shows to original productions. The new Hinman Dining Center made a splash with two retail options including a — finally stationary — Starbucks and modern finishing. Hinman College dorms only consist of suites, with a furnished living room. This is great for friend groups and those who want a deeper connection with their suitemates. The final thing that boosted its rating is the location, being right across from the Lecture Halls and Glenn G. Bartle library, so you can still make it to class if you just woke up 10 minutes before.
Mountainview College: A-
The best view on campus, mainly because it’s right next to the vast beauty of Nature Preserve. Yet, this is also a big strike against it. The walk up is quite steep, and just thinking about walking back after a long day is enough to make me sigh. Before the Hinman Dining Center, the Appalachian Collegiate Center was arguably the best dining hall on campus, and Mountainview College is still holding up as one of the best places to hang out. Suites and designed triplets in Mountainview College do have a standalone sink, and, based on my hatred of washing dishes in the bathroom, this is a big plus.
Apartments Community: B
Exclusively reserved for transfers and upperclassmen, the Apartments Community is, well, true apartment-style living. With a full kitchen and living room as well as all-single bedrooms, it provides the comfort and independence that older students crave. Its location being further from the center of campus gives it a distinct quiet atmosphere, while still maintaining the convenience of living on campus. This, yet again, is also its biggest con — the walk back to Susquehanna is truly diabolical. But it’s a worthy trade for not getting kicked out of your bedroom for the visit of your roommate’s paramour. It does feel a bit unfair to compare the apartments to the dorm-style communities since they fill different styles of living.
Newing College: B
As a person who spent their freshman year in Newing College, the best thing about it is the infamous C4 — including Nite Owl — and the ease with which I could go to my freshman classes. Being in Newing College during the breaks — when break housing was still in effect — is truly the height of luxury. Although not as close to the University Union as College-in-the-Woods and the Dickinson Community, the walk there is still easy, with no steep hill. The biggest con of this dorm is its lack of sinks and full kitchens — there’s only one kitchen for a whole building and only bathrooms have sinks. I do not miss bringing a week’s worth of dishes down and dragging them back up to wash them.