Dorms @ SOU Part 3
Now for the part everyone’s been waiting for. The descriptions of the dorm complexes themselves. Personally I’ve lived in three out of the four main buildings. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, and all house a large diversity of personalities.
The cafeteria/mail room entrance to Cascade Complex.
The first dorm complex I stayed in was Cascade. During Raider Reg I spent the night in Baker Hall, one of eight halls and a myriad of other rooms including the Food Court, C-store, and the Mail Room that make up the building. One of the two freshman-oriented complexes, each hall in Cascade will eventually have a special theme, designed to help new college students make friends.
The outside of Baker Hall, part of Cascade Complex, which is located near the picture above.
One of the things I neglected to talk about in the last post, was the C-store, one of my favorite places to visit last year. The C-store is your alternative to non-lunchtime campus food that isn’t from the cafeteria. It sells your typical vending machine snacks, with a bit more variety, on top of pre-packaged sandwiches, burritos, salads, fruits, pasta boxes, hot pockets and ice cream. It also has some more simple grocery fare such as bread, peanut butter, popcorn, milk, juice, and organic pastas. There are also a small selection of toiletries like deodorant and toothpaste, allergy medicines, and more.
Diamond, Forest, Hawthorne, and Glacier Halls are smoke and incense free halls, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it’s okay in any of the other complexes. It just means that its particularly important to its residents that it remain as it is labeled. Glacier Hall only contains residents living without a roommate—in other words, it’s a singles only dorm. Diamond Hall has the honor to house SOU’s first “Gender-Inclusive” floors. This means that residents on this hall aren’t separated by their gender. There is one bathroom for everyone to share, instead of having both a men’s and a women’s, or separating the two into different floors.
Forest Hall is for the brainiacs. Technically known as Forest Honors Hall, it houses students interested in or already a part of the growing honors program at SOU. While small and limited now, the honors program grows by leaps and bounds every term, offering classes in lots of different topics. Even if you aren’t an honors student, you are welcome to live here, especially if you want a very academic living environment and a place to play and study with those who feel the same about school as you do.
Hawthorne Hall contains two Civic Engagement floors for those interested in volunteering at all levels, including local, national, and global. Students can band together to find all sorts of opportunities to serve others, and live with people with the same goals. Hawthorne also has a floor dedicated to the Outdoor Adventure Leadership program. Folks that live on that floor are interested in the great outdoors, and all it can offer in the form of ropes courses, snowboarding, rafting, and wilderness skills, as well as the academic programs SOU has to offer. The lounge contains a tv, foosball table, and if I remember right a ping-pong table.
Emerald Hall includes two substance free floors, dedicated to healthy lifestyles. Substance free even includes those few 21+ that still live in Cascade, and extends even to off campus. Substance free means substance free, and is a big deal to the people on these floors. Emerald is also home to two floors dedicated to folks interested in the Outdoor Adventure Leadership program.
And finally, Ivy hall is a 24-hour quiet hall and a smoke and incense free hall. It has a rockin’ pool table in it’s lounge, or so I’ve heard.
When I lived in Cascade during a summer session after my freshman year, I lived in Hawthorne, on the second floor. The big difference to me, from living in Greensprings, is the bathroom set up. While my hall in Greensprings had two bathrooms, one for men and one for women that had toilets and sinks in one half of the room, and showers in the other; Hawthorne separated them into entirely different rooms. Compared to Greensprings’ measly two stalls in the women’s bathroom, Hawthorne had six or so. And while Greensprings had only three shower stalls, Hawthorne had at least five. So, in summary, bigger bathrooms, which is always great for women.
The Cascade layout is very similar to that of Greensprings.
The actual living quarters were quite similar in layout, although it seems to me that there are less options for layout in Cascade than in Greensprings. As you walk in the door of your room, on either side of you are the built in closets, at a right angle to the built in dressers. Now the closets are deceiving—they are bigger than they look! At the end of the room, near the window, are the two desks opposite each other, as well as the two shelves, built in above the desks. Usually, in between the desks and the dressers, are the beds, again one on each side. This is where I can see the opportunity for changing the layout—you can bunk the beds, opening up space on at least one wall. It may not sound that thrilling at first, but once you see it done, it’s amazing what it can do for a room!
The hard thing about living in Hawthorne, at least in the time I lived there, was laundry. You had to go down two floors and a long hall to get to the tiny laundry room that technically had two washers, even if only one of them ever worked.
The dimensions for a room in Cascade are about 10’ x 14’. If rumor is true than the rest of the dorms on campus, save Madrone and possibly Suzy, are about that size as well. (Madrone rooms are smaller, but you don’t have to share them with someone, plus you get a kitchen.)
The outside of Greensprings Complex. Second photo by Ian Hand.
The other freshman-oriented dorm certainly looks like it was built in the 70s! With an odd green and brick mixture of color on the outside and the different colors of carpet in each of its halls, Greensprings is surely something to look at. And it’s huge! It’s location next to the football field and McNeal pavilion make it great for athletic Raiders, and its isolation from practically everything else, great for the wild freshman. Go down a couple of flights of stairs on the side of the road everything else is not on, and there you’ll have Greensprings. Detour to the side of the building closest to the road and wander around. There’s a brand new mural painted on a wall down there that is worth a look and at least a few photos. Once inside the building you’ll find the laundry room, RA’s station, small bathroom, the main doors to all of the halls, and the lobby all on the ground floor. The lobby contains several large couches that make a popular spot to lounge about in. You’ll find large groups of people talking at all hours of the day here. On special occasions, the lobby will pull down a large roll up screen for movie and event viewing. Every year movies are shown on holidays, Pub Crawl and more, and every Oscar night someone hooks up their computer for live streaming. The people that live in Greensprings are nothing but social. And every social gathering needs food! You could choose to go to the two vending machines on the ground floor, or you can just visit the Re-store! The Re-store is basically a mini-mart filled with the same types of things you can find at the C-store in Cascade. It too is open limited hours but is much better than hiking it all the way up the hill for a tub of ice cream and some Chef Boyardee.
Some of the wings of Greensprings also have a drop down screen for movie viewing. Photo by Ian Hand.
Greensprings, like Cascade is separated into specialty halls, though somewhat less so than the dorm up the hill. While I was living there, the wings of the building were simply called A, B, C, and D. I lived in C3 my freshman year meaning that I lived in wing C, on the third floor. Now, each wing has a “proper” name, since the RAs felt that the letters were much too boring. Keeping with the Oregon landscaping theme, each hall is now named after a body of water in the state. A has become Applegate, B has become Bear Creek , C has become Crater Lake, and D has become Deschutes. All four halls are smoke and incense free, and Deschutes is a 14-hour quiet hall. Bear Creek and Crater Lake have two co-ed floors as well, as well as Crater Lake having access to a large deck from the main TV area. The outside of the Greensprings building is surrounded by lush grass, a large parking lot, and a small volleyball and tennis area. Come spring time it seems that hardly anyone is left indoors! Living in Greensprings is also great because of how close it is to the Great American Pizza Company (or GAPCo as most people call it.) It’s just a hop skip and a jump to get over there and nab yourself some really tasty Dough-Knots and pizza or sandwiches! One of the drawbacks of living in Greensprings is that it is so very far away from everything else though. The crosslight between Greensprings and Cascade is notoriously slow, and dangerous. The drivers in that intersection are always the worst mannered people who don’t have any patience for pedestrians so do be careful, especially late at night.
The intersection between Greensprings and the rest of campus.
Now each of the rooms in each of the wings appears to be done slightly differently. As I mentioned before I lived in C3 my freshman year. My friend lived in B4 I think, and her room while looking for the most part like mine, did have some differences. For one thing, her room seemed much brighter than mine, because the walls were more white. Her ceiling was much, much higher, and the dresser/countertop that they had didn’t have any of the plug-in outlets that mine did. Their closets also didn’t have tops on them so that they could be converted into extra storage.
The desks and shelves as they are empty of my roommate’s and my crap. The cool thing about these shelves is that not only do you have the actual shelves of the structure, but also the tops as well!
Being the clutter-monster that I am, I was very happy that my room in Greensprings had not only a push-pin bulletin board for decorating, but also a lot of shelves. On the far side of the room over one of the desks there was a shelf structure of three shelves, and just opposite that a monster structure double that size. My roommate and I got control over the shelf directly above our respective desks, while the one built in next to mine became home to our medicine, food, and some other small miscellaneous items. As I recall there was a small table, upon which we placed our mini-fridge. That became home to my roommate’s alarm clock and our box of tissues. =) Our dresser/countertop was luckily enough graced with more plug-ins than we could count, thanks to our power strip so we had most of our electronics there.
What my roommate and I used our dresser/countertop for.
How Sydney Mayfield and her roommate used their dresser/countertop.
One of the things I almost wished we had done was bunk our beds to give ourselves more room. The advantage to not bunking the beds is that we didn’t have to disturb each other when we went to sleep or when we woke up with our movements. The disadvantage to not bunking the beds is that we had a lot less space to work with. The way we had arranged our beds was in such a way that they stuck out into the room itself. We did this so that we could use bed raisers, and put all of our junk under them comfortably. If we hadn’t have done this we could probably have done what our neighbors did and align the beds to follow the walls. However since we decided to raise them, that wouldn’t have worked with how the shelving was arranged. In the end it comes down to functionality and personal preference.
Bunked beds in Greensprings, courtesy of Sydney Mayfield
Unbunked bed in Greensprings, boys dorm (finally!), courtesy of Ian Hand.
Now here’s some random Greensprings pictures for you!
Greensprings Hallway, photo by Ian Hand
The girls on Sydney Mayfield’s floor in Greensprings seemed to have gotten together to make their bathroom look nice! I wish my floor mates had cared enough about our living area to do that!
Known as Suzy, this is the oldest dorm complex on campus, having been built in the 40s. Suzy is a 24-hour quiet hall, is smoke and incense free, and is open to those who are sophomore in standing, or are over 21 years old. One of the really cool things about Suzy is The Fishbowl, a large common room that bulges out from the rest of the building, and is right across from a rec room, complete with pool and ping pong tables. During Pub Crawl last year, The Fishbowl became a British Pub, and played host to lots of activities, and a live student band. (Jam Club!) Also hidden within Suzy’s depths are a large kitchen, and two tv lounges. Rooms in Suzy feel much larger than in Greensprings and Cascade, having both a spacious layout, and a kitchenette (mini-fridge, sink, and two burners). Rooms in Suzy have a bed, desk with drawers, movable set of dresser drawers, closet with shelves and storage on top, and a heater. Some rooms in Suzy are single, but most of the time you end up living with one other person.
I spent last year in Madrone. It was amazing. I loved having my own room, a full kitchen, a living room, and most importantly of all, a bathtub! Sadly for younger students, you have to be 21+ or have more than 45 credit hours to live there. (though I’ve heard depending on demand they may or may not fudge that rule a tiny bit.) Living in Madrone is living with the adults. It’s a 24-hour quiet hall, and also smoke and incense free. It’s never too rowdy in Madrone, with each apartment complex pretty self contained. I had a really prime spot last year, where we were on the first floor, with a storage closet and a far off living room on either side of us. I’m happy to have this spot again. They say that each complex can house people of any gender, but it seems to be the experience of those that I’ve talked to that they try not to put just one person of any gender by themselves. So you can have two and two, or all four of a kind living together. There are of course exceptions, according to demand. So, judging by those numbers, you can tell that four people live together in an apartment.
Three bedrooms (a,b, and c) are laid out side by side, while the fourth (d) is by itself, next to one of the bathrooms. The advantage to being in d, is that it is isolated. The slight disadvantage is that the water closet protrudes into your room. I actually like that. It creates a neat little area for your bed or your desk to fit into. Each room comes with all of the ports you need, as well as a bed, and a desk. Because I’m such a decorator, and a bookworm, I bought two bookshelves from Walmart, because Madrone rooms don’t come with any shelving at all. The smaller one became home to my tv, dvd, and xbox supplies, while the other held books, jewelry, my satellite radio, other decorations.
The kitchen, and the couch the living room comes with.
The living room is large and spacious and is a part of the kitchen area. The living room comes with a small couch and a small table. My roommates and I were lucky enough that my parents had a large L-shaped couch they wanted rid of, so it became our main seating for the year. We also inherited a medium sized stand that we placed our microwave, blender, recipe book, and candy basket on. The living room has two port collections, each with a phone jack, and two internet jacks. Rumor has it that only one of these work in each apartment, though I don’t know how true that is. The kitchen comes complete with full sized refrigerator, a large sink with garbage disposal, an oven with electric burners, and tons of cabinet space. We finished ours off with a Kitchen Aid mixer, electric tea kettle, and a dish drying rack.
There are two bathrooms in each apartment. A small one, with just a toilet, stand up shower, and sink; and a large, handicap accessible one, with a combo shower/bathtub, toilet, sink, and small cupboard storage area. Both bathrooms have mirrors in the front and sides, and the side mirrors open up for storage.
No shower shoes here!
Another cool thing about Madrone, for people who like this sort of thing, is the elevator—it makes move in day a lot easier! There are lounges on each of Madrone’s floors, with a tv in two of them. The vending machine is on the second floor by the elevator, and the laundry rooms are both on the first floor on each side of the building. Sorry to everyone above that! The bottom floor lounge also has a piano, for those who are musically inclined. Madrone is also blessed with air conditioning and heat, great for the bi-polar Oregon weather!
And that’s it! As always, if you have any questions, if I didn’t make something clear, feel free to let me know!