By KYLE LEHMANN
Housing selection season is here and for those living on campus next year, it is a time of excitement, anticipation and decisions. Students are selecting roommates, whether they be old friends or strangers on Facebook, and also deciding between buildings themselves. As many students are aware, residence halls are not clustered together, nor are they all made equal. Many of the residence halls were built alone or with a sister dorm, and thus do not all fit a standardized model. Due to this, each hall presents an interesting set of characteristics unique to the respective building. While basic information about the location and layout of the buildings can be found online, one of the best ways to assess the options for next year is to examine the perspectives of current residents of upperclassmen buildings.
Eagle Landing is one of the apartment-style residence halls. The five-story building that looms over Route 1 is by far the largest dorm on campus and where many upperclassmen choose to call home. Eagle Landing has some of the larger spaces available for on-campus housing due to the addition of a living room and kitchen. Besides the larger rooms that Eagle offers there are a host of attributes.
“Good things about Eagle?” pondered sophomore resident Peter Stanley, “A nice kitchen, you’re close to Giant, close to the gym.”
There also a number of other perks that Eagle Landing has in store for residents. One of said perks is trash and recycling chutes at the end of every hallway. So instead of walking outside to throw your trash out, you can simply walk down the hall to throw your garbage away. Another is proximity to a parking garage that allows students that live in Eagle to have easy access to their cars.
For all the good reviews Eagle gets, there are a few things residents have complained about. “Besides Jepson and the gym,” Stanley says, “you’re kind of far away from most of the other buildings on campus. Like if you have a class in Combs, it’s a far walk. It’s also expensive.” This is true. For all the perks of Eagle Landing, it has the most expensive double room rates on-campus, costing $4368 per semester for the 2018/2019 academic year according to the Residence Life and Housing section on the Mary Washington website.
Another popular choice for upperclassmen to live is in Arrington Hall. Arrington Hall, and its sister building Alvey, are located adjacent to the Hurley Convergence Center. This residence hall is in the style of a classic dorm instead of the apartment style like Eagle Landing. Much like Eagle Landing, residents of Arrington have opinions on their home, both positive and negative. “We like that it’s close to the parking deck” said Carina Martin, a junior in Arrington. “It’s really good if you have a car on campus,” added her suitemate, sophomore Cheyenne Kern. Each room in Arrington is also equipped with a sink in each room, which is a quirk not seen in many other residence halls. Arrington, unlike Eagle Landing, allows you to keep your door open so neighbors and other people can walk over and introduce themselves. Arrington thus allows a typical dorm experience that is not offered in Eagle Landing.
They both seemed to have a generally positive outlook on Arrington, especially its location just off Campus Walk, but there were still things in Arrington that were left to be desired. “We don’t like that we have a single microwave for the whole dorm,” said Martin. “With a hole in it,” chimed in Kern. The tone of the conversation about Arrington seemed of one of generally positive experience, but with some quirks that come from being in an older dorm.
Another place that some students are looking at is Bushnell Hall. Bushnell Hall is on the opposite end of campus from Eagle Landing and Arrington Hall. Location is one of the major appeals about Bushnell Hall. It is closer to Combs Hall than many other dorms, which is convenient for English majors, Historic Preservation majors and everyone taking a foreign language, as well as other desirable locations.
“It’s really close to downtown,” said Austin Williams, a junior who was a former resident of Bushnell Hall. “That was always fun about it. It’s also right next to the [Bell] Tower so getting picked up and dropped off is nice, since its right there and everyone knows where it [the Bell Tower] is.”
While Bushnell’s location provides students access to a lot, it is also an older dorm. “It’s got wear and tear,”continued Williams. “It’s not falling apart, but it is noticeable at times.”
Although it is not the oldest dorm on campus, Bushnell Hall was completed in 1959, making it almost sixty years old. One of the cooler things about Bushnell, according to Williams, is the third floor common area. It is an area where people frequently congregate and meet new people. If you are someone that wants to meet new friends, this might be an attractive feature of Bushnell.
With the turbulent couple of days of housing selection upon Mary Washington, it’s refreshing to look to the future to where students want to live with their friends or make new friends, or both. But it’s sometimes just as fun to look back at the places we’ve been just as it is to look at where we are going.