Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

University offers vastly different dorm experiences

As throngs of incoming freshmen move on campus, it is essential to consider what these students are looking for in their first “homes away from home” at the Capstone. Do students want roommates, a convenient location or simply a shower they don’t have to share with 100 girls?

The differences among residence halls at the University accommodate student preferences regarding amenities, convenience and budget. The Ridgecrest, Riverside and Lakeside communities feature fully furnished apartment-style living spaces but require a longer walk to classes. Tutwiler, on the other hand, sits in the heart of campus but contains smaller, shared rooms and community bathrooms. Of course, these options represent a wide price range, as well.

“We want to offer students the most choice and economy to control their living situation. The variety of buildings in different styles and price ranges is a strength of our campus,” Alicia Browne, associate director for information and communication in housing and residential communities, said.

Browne said that, while some students prefer actual apartments, others enjoy traditional dormitories, which foster a sense of community in the common areas. Housing registration at the University transitioned two years ago to a system where students can choose their housing assignments for themselves online in order to maximize options and fit individual needs.

“No one will know better than the student and his or her parent what works best for them,” explains Browne. “We are not making decisions on where students will live. They have that power now.”

The freedom to select a room and move around as necessary until right before school starts makes the current registration method popular among students.

“It’s very freeing to know that the University is looking out for my needs and will allow me to go online and better my living situation if needed,” says Abby Turnbough, a sophomore majoring in marketing.

Honors students still enjoy early registration privileges to the housing communities that they are eligible for, but they are not allowed to register for non-honors dorms until other students can also apply.

“Students who want any kind of living learning community get to go online a month early and choose first for that community,” Browne said. “However, a common misconception is that these students can go in early and pick to live anywhere. They don’t get to go ahead of non-honors student who perhaps want Tutwiler or Burke, which puts everyone on an even footing.”

Many honors students feel it is fair that they are allowed to register a month early to ensure that there is space in a particular community.

“Early registration is fair because the Honor’s Program is nationally known, and there are incentives for the people who participate,” Adrienne Gates, a freshman majoring in chemical engineering, said.

Others see early registration as unfair, because students who are ineligible do not have the same opportunity to find space in their preferred housing.

“I think it is both fair and unfair,” Cory Harrison, a senior majoring in philosophy, said. “It’s great that they are encouraging students to achieve more with early registration in the Honor’s Program. It is unfair though, because not all dorms are created equal, and ‘leftover’ students end up in the ‘leftover’ dorms.”

This year, freshmen will occupy Ridgecrest, Tutwiler, Somervile, Paty, Parker Adams and Harris. If students do not like these arrangements, housing reopens for those who wish to change their living arrangements for the second semester.

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