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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Dorms: You live WHERE?

Living on campus is a freshman rite of passage, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck a little. What dorm you’re placed in will help define your freshman year. They all have their quirks, charms and weird smells. Here’s a guide to help you make the best of any residence hall on campus.

Odds are, you’ve been placed in either Coronado or Arizona-Sonora, based on their combined immenseness. Eight and nine floors, respectively, these two are known as the “”party”” dorms — or, more rudely, “”whore””-onado and AZ-“”ho.”” They’re more heavily dominated by Greek Life than most of the other residence halls and known for their social atmosphere. You might not get much studying done amid the ruckus, but if you’re looking to expand your wardrobe of CEO and Corporate Ho-themed party wear or develop a taste for Smirnoff Ice, you’re in the right place.

In what might feel like a completely different university (and universe), there are the three honors dorms, Yuma, Yavapai and Posada San Pedro. Residents of these halls run the nerd gamut, from the chronically over-involved, never seen without their polo shirts and nametags, to the “”leet”” gamers who never leave their Cheetos-scented rooms. The study rooms are always full and the resident assistants’ oft-lame programs are well attended. But nerds tend to be pretty nice and welcoming, and someone will always be around to help you with your homework.

A few unlucky souls have been placed in Stadium (officially called Navajo-Pinal), Hopi Lodge or Babcock, widely known as the weirdest dorms on campus.

Stadium, unsurprisingly, is attached to Arizona Stadium, so residents become painfully familiar with the marching band’s fall program. It’s dilapidated and in an odd location, but on the bright side, the rooms are huge and residents can bond over their mutual hearing loss.

Hopi Lodge, next door to Graham-Greenlee, is by all accounts just plain gross. It’s one low-slung, dark floor, with cramped rooms, freakishly small (like, gnome-sized) bathroom stalls and a clinging odor of burnt popcorn. But don’t despair! For one thing, Hopi is inexpensive, and the small size means Hopi residents form a tight-knit community, much like inmates, or characters in a movie about a haunted house. Babcock Inn resembles a seedy motel that doubles as a drug front. It’s across Speedway Boulevard from the bulk of campus, and far from freshman essentials like the Student Union Memorial Center and the Rec Center. Babcock is definitely one of the weirder places on campus to live, but it has a pool and offers a nice, if strange, respite from the rest of Residence Life.

Two dorms, Maricopa and Parker House, are all women, so if you’re a man who has been placed in one of these, either there’s a mistake or you’re just incredibly lucky. Both are beautiful, as long as you don’t suffocate on the estrogen-and-Bath-and-Body-Works stench. Parker House was recently converted from a sorority house, so it’s small — just 50 women — and well kept.

Maricopa has a beautiful lobby reminiscent of a 1920s hotel, and its most unusual feature is its sleeping porch. Residents have their own rooms with day beds, desks and other furniture, but are required to sleep on the communal sleeping porches at the end of each wing. Guests are not allowed into the sleeping porches, so you’ll never have to worry about awkward encounters with roommates and their significant others. Plus, you’ll feel like Madeline.

There are no all-male residence halls on campus, perhaps because Resident Life has been inside fraternity houses and doesn’t have the money to clean up urine from every hall, every morning. However, most dorms have single-sex wings; so if you’re really afraid of girls, just avoid the common areas.

This is just a highlights reel of campus living; there are a dozen other residence halls, each with their own unique flavor. But wherever you are, the experience will be interesting, and you’ll have to learn to share your space with a whole mess of strangers. Get ready to attend endless “”social justice”” movie nights catered by Jimmy Johns, get “”sexiled”” by your roommate and her creepy boyfriend, see your hall mates at their drunkest and nakedest, and make some of the friends you’ll have for the rest of your life.

— Heather Price-Wright is a creative writing senior. She can be reached at

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