June 5, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 72°F

Life & Culture

Dorm culture creates perspectives of student life

When Googling, “What is the best dorm at Ithaca College,” a list of all 27 residential halls comes up. Choosing housing for the four years at college is one of the hardest decisions that a student has to make. It is hard to know how big the room will be, what the communal bathrooms will bring or what the resident assistant is like.

Ithaca College has a variety of housing options, including Upper Quads, Lower Quads, Towers, Terraces and Emerson Hall, as well as the Circle and Garden Apartments. In a TikTok posted in 2020, a student came up with different sounds to describe each dorm. The Garden Apartments had a glitter sound and the Circles had bubbles, implying that they are a good choice to live in, with Lower Quads and Terraces on the other side of the spectrum, having a child screaming and monster noises. The Towers were a trumpet and Upper Quads were a little “ding” noise, also implying they are a good location to live. Students in the comments tended to agree with the sound choices.

First-year student Willa Sarcone lives in Hood Hall, which is a part of Upper Quads. She said she chose Upper Quads because it is close to all of her classes, Campus Center Dining Hall and also allows her to live among other student-athletes who also chose to live in Upper Quads. 

“I am a student-athlete and I really value being close to the Athletic Center,” Sarcone said. “I think that is why a lot of athletes chose to leave here.” 

Sarcone said it was scary when she first moved in because she did not know anyone and was living with someone new for the first time. Sarcone said she now has many friends in her building and said she loves being able to spend time with all of them.

“I made friends very quickly,” Sarcone said. “That’s what kind of happens when you live so close to people. I enjoyed living with other athletes because they were all in the same boat as me. You are not the only one not going out because everyone else has games and sporting events too.”

Sarcone said she is very happy with her choice of living in Upper Quads because it allowed her to enjoy her first year in college.

“There’s a stereotype that Upper Quads are better than Lower Quads,” Sarcone said. “A lot of my friends joke about not wanting to live in Bogart, just because it is so far away from everything. But you can’t really go wrong with any of the housing options on campus.”

Similarly, senior Robert Pucci said he agrees that Upper Quads are better than Lower Quads because they are considered cleaner by the student body. Pucci currently lives in Terraces, which are located above Towers — further from the center of campus. 

“The rooms are very small, but I do not hate it,” Pucci said. “My mom asked me if I was claustrophobic when I first moved in because she was worried about me, but I’m fine.”

Pucci said the only thing he does not like are the communal restrooms.

“But the cleaners do an amazing job,” Pucci said. “It is just always hard when you start living with new people for the first time. You realize who has home training and who doesn’t really quickly. But it all goes towards the experience of being in a dorm.”

Pucci said he chose Terraces because there are options for having a single room. Before Terraces, Pucci lived in West Tower and then the Circles. He said he loved all of his dorm experiences but said that living in Towers was his favorite. Pucci said he was not fully ready for the communal bathrooms in Terraces.

“When first-year [students] ask me where they should live I always say Towers because you get a private bathroom with a lock. Taking showers in the communal bathrooms this year was a huge step for me.”

Pucci said he tries to not let the bathroom experience impact his time in Terraces and overall is happy with his decision. He said he enjoys the independence that comes with living in Terraces.

“I was amazed because living in Terraces is like being in your own bubble,” Pucci said. “You are on campus, but it doesn’t really feel like you are on campus. But you also get the typical dorm life.”

Terraces also has Residential Learning Communities, including spaces for outdoor adventure, quiet study, substance-free and transfer students.

Pucci said that although everyone is nice, the residents mostly do their own thing and stick to themselves. This was a different experience than his other dorms — Pucci said that when he lived in Towers, he was much closer with his neighbors.

“I don’t know many people on my floor, but I kind of love that,” Pucci said. “Everyone kind of minds their own business and does their own thing and is okay with it. Everyone is very friendly, but you don’t feel pressured to go the extra mile.”

First-year student Sierra Harrison lives in Rowland Hall, located in Upper Quads. She said she chose her dorm by doing research beforehand and watching videos on the dorms on YouTube.

“The rooms are very small and seem to not have a consistent size throughout the dorm,” Harrison said. “It is mostly quiet, and a lot of people don’t go out on the weekends, but the downside to this is people are always complaining when you are loud after 11 p.m.”

Harrison said she really enjoys being in Upper Quads because of the peace, as well as the parking lot, A Lot, being very close by. She said Lower Quads tend to be less peaceful and a less attractive place to live than the Upper Quads.

“Lower Quads seem to have a more party stereotype and seem to be wild,” Harrison said.

RAs at the college are another aspect of dorm life. The RAs are responsible for fostering a sense of community among those living on campus, primarily by organizing events and serving as a point of reference of all aspects of campus life for residents.

“I love my RA,” Sarcone said.” “She is really sweet and made living here and the transition into college so much easier. She is so open to helping everyone.”

Katie Krom can be reached at kkrom@ithaca.edu