By: Jen Campisi / Herald Contributor
With eight different housing options both on-campus and off-campus, away from the hustle and bustle of fellow Hawks, some students discuss why their dorm is the best place to call “home away from home.”
This year, Roger Williams boasts the biggest entering class in university history. With so many new fresh faces, the challenge of housing these first-year students turned these excited freshmen nervous at the idea of “forced triples” for the fall semester. Some double rooms in Cedar Hall, Maple Hall, and Willow Hall, to name a few, have been transformed into triples to accommodate the incoming residents on South Campus.
Cedar Hall, located in the midst of South Campus, boasts a lounge and game room for its first-year residents, as well as a basketball court directly outside where you can find many “freshies” socializing.
“As much as other students complain about living in Cedar, I like the fact that it is exclusive to freshmen. It was easy to connect with people and meet new friends because we’re all incoming students.” says freshman, Devin Pietz.
Nestled amidst large chunks of rock, South Campus’ Stonewall Terrace hosts a multitude of students from all class years. With four independent buildings comprised of three air-conditioned floors, suite residents are housed in single, double, and triple rooms with carpeted floors.
“I really like Stonewall because of the air conditioning, of course, and how the suites are arranged. Plus, I feel like the rooms are a lot nicer than they are in the other dorms,” says freshman “Swall” resident, Loryn Hamilton. Located in Stonewall’s third building, sophomore Ben Luker, an RA for the first floor, believes his hall is the best because “it’s close to all of my classes, it’s usually quiet when I want to study, and of course, having air conditioning is amazing!”
With many rooms giving a view of Bristol’s Mount Hope Bay, Maple Hall features flights and flights of stairs to the top of this South Campus dorm. Maple is also home to LLCs (Living Learning Communities), giving students an opportunity to bond and have classes in common.
“Maple is one of the best dorms to live in, in my opinion, because each section of Maple is divided into small pods that allow for those occupants to become very close,” says first-year student, Nick Spinella. “It is also a 2-to-5 minute walk from many buildings on campus, which is convenient.” Spinella adds.
Housing the Gender Research Center (GRC), Maple Hall promotes inclusion as well as diversity, with residents spanning all class levels.
“As for me, I love Maple. It’s a great hall and it’s close to everything and the view of the bay from the bay side of the building is always well worth it.” – Sophomore Russel Azzarello
Willow Hall consists of various apartment-styled buildings right below the beautiful Mount Hope Bridge at the far end of South Campus. With an independent-living atmosphere, Willow houses approximately 475 students in a scenic part of campus. Complete with back patios, decks, picnic tables scattered across the lawn, and a stream that runs through a courtyard, Willow sets the stage for a very peaceful environment.
“I think Willow is the best residence hall because its homey feeling and sectioned buildings give its occupants the opportunity to feel as though they are a part of a family and [it] creates a sense of togetherness in each unit,” says freshman Bella Singer, who has spent her first semester living on campus in this hall.
North Campus Residence Hall, frequently nicknamed New Res, houses upperclassmen students and transfer students in a modern suite-style setup. Complete with classrooms, and Rhode Islanders’ favorite coffee chain, New Res is your typical upperclassmen community with updated layouts.
“North Campus is probably the best residence hall because our building has a Dunkin’ Donuts inside of it and the suites are really nice,” states Rosalita Capoldo, a sophomore who has recently transferred to our university from Florida. Another sophomore, Noah Reiser, agrees that his hall tops the other living spaces on campus.
“The living arrangements are quite nice, and the resources available, like the Dunkin’, are wonderful,” brags Reiser.
Another North Campus residence option is Bayside Courts, a popular living space for many, with great views of the waterway and close proximity to the Rec Center and the Commons, making meals easily accessible.
“It’s not too far and it’s not too close,” senior architecture major, Linda Penaloza, said. “It’s in the perfect place and you’re close to pretty much everything. It gives you a nice homey feel the way it’s set up, so you don’t get homesick.”
While it is convenient to live on campus, some students prefer off-campus school-sponsored living arrangements, such as the Almeida Apartments that are located about two miles from the university. The apartment complex consists of three large, separate buildings and a series of units called the Flats and Townhouses.
“Almeida is the best place to live because you basically have your own apartment. You have a kitchen, a living room and a balcony. Plus, it’s a very social atmosphere on the weekends, so it’s a ton of fun,” says sophomore resident, Tori Costa. A bonus for the Almeida students? Even though your individual apartment has a kitchen, you can still participate in a meal plan and get all your favorites from the Commons!
But if you’re looking to stay in a hotel during your time at Roger, we’ve got that too. Off-campus Baypoint Inn is not your typical or traditional college living space, but a great one for students who want to live in a nice space just over the bridge in Newport. Manny Colon, a sophomore at the university this year, spends a lot of his time at Baypoint getting full use out of all the amenities available.
“I would say [it] is the best dorm to live in because you never need to leave, except when you have classes. There’s a gym, a cafeteria, a lounge for studying, and every room has its own bathroom with a shower,” expressed Colon.
Although you can probably debate over which residence hall is the best place to live, work, and play in, it’s a known fact you’ll soon find your favorite space with the abundance of living options RWU has to offer throughout your college experience both on or off campus.