Panther Buzz

Dorm life: the good and the bad

Dorm life can be both a scary and exciting part of starting college. Some students are afraid of being away from home, while others are excited to break away and decorate their own space.

There is also the concept of which dorm you’ll be in. The different dorms at Chapman each have their own personalities, offering unique qualities to their residents.

“I was so excited to move into my dorm because of how fun it all seemed in movies, but I was also scared, because I have friends who said it could be really annoying at times,” said Hayley Wierwille, an undeclared sophomore.

Although students can’t choose which dorm hall they live in, it can be helpful to know a little bit about the dorms they will live in once they are assigned. Here, students provide feedback on the pros and cons of their hall to put new students at ease, as they find positive qualities to every dorm hall.

Henley Hall. Photo by Summir Wilson

Henley Hall

Pros

  • Henley Hall’s basement is equipped with music practice rooms, study rooms, pool tables, TVs, the Chapman Radio studio, a laundry room, vending machines and a gym.
  • Lily Turner, a sophomore graphic design major, said that Henley Hall is a great place to meet new people.

“There are always people hanging out in the lounges or in HenBay (Henley basement) after parties or just during the day,” she said.

  • Each room has its own bathroom that is only shared between the residents of that room.
  • You can control your own air conditioning.
  • There are elevators.

Cons

  • There is no specific parking lot for Henley Hall residents.
  • With the attraction to Henley’s basement and overall appeal of Henley Hall, it can often be a rowdy and loud place to live in.

“Sometimes there are a lot of loud kids, which is all fun and games until you have to study or want to sleep,” Turner said.

The entrance of Glass Hall, near the Jim Miller Parking Structure. Photo by Summir Wilson

Glass Hall

Pros

  • Glass Hall is closest to the Jim Miller Parking Structure.
  • You get your own bathroom.
  • Yasmine Hamady, a sophomore theatre performance major that lived in Glass Hall, said that because of the majors housed there, noise complaints aren’t filed that often. However, which majors live in which dorms changes every year.

“I love that I can be as loud as I want or have friends over without getting in trouble for noise because everybody is either practicing music or musical theater,” Hamady said.

  • You can control your own air conditioning.
  • There are elevators.
  • There are lounges on each floor with seating and TVs, and some floors have study rooms.

Cons

  • The hallways in Glass are known for being chilly, said Brooke Campbell, an undeclared sophomore who lived in Glass.

“The hallways and common rooms are way too cold,” Campbell said. “I literally run to my room.”

  • Because Glass Hall is directly next to Orange High School, the sounds sometimes carry from the high school to the dorm hall, said Kyle Marshall, a freshman guitar performance major.

Morlan Hall

The outdoor courtyard of Morlan Hall is home to students and sometimes unwanted bugs. Photo by Summir Wilson

Pros:

  • During the 2016-2017 school year, students living in Morlan Hall had one roommate, which meant more space in the rooms.
  • Shania Verse, a sophomore political science major, said she appreciated the openness of the outdoor hall. “The outdoor area in the middle of the hall makes me feel less closed in and provides a nice space to relax, do homework or exercise,” Verse said.
  • The Morlan Hall lounge was just renovated spring 2017 with new couches, tables, TVs and seating options, Verse said.

“I never really hung out in the old community lounge, but ever since it was renovated, I’m always there, taking up a whole couch to myself,” Verse said.

  • There is a full kitchen in the Morlan lounge.
  • Morlan Hall has a parking lot for residents of the hall.

“It’s nice having a parking lot just for our dorm, but it’s oftentimes full and I have to park in a different hall’s parking structure,” Verse said.

Cons:

  • It’s the oldest dorm building on campus. South Morlan was built in 1963, and North Morlan was built in 1969.
  • Hannah Hutson, a sophomore French major, said one of her biggest complaints about Morlan is that she can’t control the air conditioning in her room.

“In Morlan, we can’t control our own air conditioning, which is frustrating because one day, it’s freezing, and one day, it’s super hot,” Huston said.

  • You have to share a bathroom – shower and toilet – with your roommate and suitemates.
  • There are only two washers and dryers for the whole hall.
  • There are no elevators, only stairs.
  • Morlan is the farthest freshman dorm from campus.
  • Since the hall is outdoors, there are sometimes issues with bugs in the room, said Sherina Mahtani, a sophomore business administration major who lived in Morlan.

“Bugs and Morlan do not get along,” Maharani said.

Pralle-Sodaro Hall. Photo by Summir Wilson

Pralle-Sodaro Hall

Pros

  • Pralle-Sodaro Hall is the closest residence hall to campus.
  • The lounges are usually lively, Wierwille said.

“I love just walking to my room and seeing a bunch of friends and people I know just hanging in the lounge,” Wierwille said.

  • Pralle has its own parking lot.
  • It has elevators.
  • You can control your own air conditioning.

Cons

  • Some students, like Wierwille, have complained about the room lighting being too dim.

“The lights bother me because they’re not really all that bright,” Wierwille said.

  • Most rooms in Pralle have a sharing bathroom, meaning one bathroom is shared between two rooms.

Some students who have lived in the dorms in the past have learned that dorm life is what you make of it.

“I heard about my hall (North Morlan) being the worst hall and I’ve actually come to like it a lot,” Verse said. “I think it’s just fun having a dorm experience; even the bad experiences are funny to look back on now.”

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