Dorm rooms decoded: a guide to uphill housing at Tufts

After a year’s experience with college dormitories and hopefully with a compatible roommate in mind, many freshmen have high aspirations for attaining “the perfect room” for their sophomore year. Upperclassmen who want to live on campus are also eager to find the best possible housing. No matter what your year, making a housing decision is a stressful procedure. The Daily’s guide makes housing options less confusing.

Carmichael Hall

In the freezing winter months, other Tufts students may have to put on five layers of clothing to go to eat, but Carmichael residents can just walk downstairs to the dining hall on the ground floor. A student parking lot is also directly behind the building.

Carmichael’s location is uphill on the residential quad, placing it close to uphill classes, but further from the campus center, Davis Square, and the Aidekman Arts Center.

Rooms in Carmichael are some of the largest on campus. This year, there are 72 doubles, 97 singles, and five triples. The first floor is Healthy Living, the first three floors are coed by wing, and the fourth and fifth floors are all-female. The first floor of Carmichael has a large lounge and a separate study room; smaller lounges are found on the second and third floors.

West Hall

Besides being the traditional starting point for the Naked Quad Run, West is by far the oldest dorm on campus. It contains many unique rooms of various shapes and sizes. West has singles, doubles, triples, quads, and one two-person apartment located on the first floor. If you have trouble getting to class on time, you couldn’t ask for a better location than West, which is the only dorm located on the academic quadrangle.

West is by far one of the most social dorms on campus. If you don’t wind up living in West, be sure to stop by on Saturday night. West is a very popular dorm for sophomores and usually is the first to fill up in the lottery.

Houston Hall

If you’re looking to live uphill, Houston might be the place for you. Living in a Houston double can be somewhat cramped, but whatever it lacks in space, it makes up in location: no need to wake up early for classes at Olin or Cabot, plus it grants fast access to Carmichael. There are 126 doubles in Houston, all about 13′ by 15′. There is also one four-person apartment on the first floor.

Unlike Miller, Houston only has one common room, which is located in the basement, so most socializing takes place in rooms rather than in common areas

Miller Hall

Very similar to Houston in layout and room size, Miller’s biggest benefit are the common rooms located on each floor. These rooms provide an open space for socializing. Each floor also has an enclosed quiet-study room that proves invaluable during finals.

Other perks of Miller living include its location next to Carmichael, above the Oxfam Caf?©. Miller is a very popular dorm, usually filling up after West in the lottery.


Wren Hall

Wren is different in layout from all other uphill dorms. Unlike the typical hallway structure found in buildings like Miller and Houston, the floor plan of Wren is arranged into suites composed of four doubles and two singles, a common room, and a bathroom. Keep in mind that suites are single sex!

As in Haskell, which is similarly laid out, a good experience in Wren is entirely dependent upon how compatible you are with the people living in your suite. People who have moved in with a group of friends say that Wren can be a great place to live. The common room and “semi-private” bathroom are definite benefits of this well-located dorm.

Wilson House

Located on the corner of Curtis Street and Chetwynd Road, Wilson House comprises 11 doubles, 18 singles, and five triples. The house is coed, but all females live on the East side of Wilson House, while males occupy the ground floor and West side. Wilson House is good for those who want to escape the traditional dorm life and live in a cozier environment.

Carpenter House

For those who want an escape from the traditional dorm, Carpenter House is located uphill in back of Carmichael Dining Hall and near several off-campus eateries. It has 15 doubles, seven singles and one triple, all of different dimensions. The second floor is all female and the third floor is all male. The first floor has two bathrooms; the second and third floor each have one. There is a common room on the first floor. Carpenter feels cozier than the dorms because it is small an like Wilson House, it is an excellent housing option for students who want a break from busy, crowded, dorm life.

Hill Hall

If you find it tough to get to the gym in this weather, you might want to consider living in Hill next year. Besides its proximity to Cousens, Hill contains an aerobics studio where various clubs and classes meet. While some complain that Hill is “in the middle of nowhere,” others claim that there are some real perks to being right on top of Boston Ave. If the gym isn’t your thing, you’ll certainly be able to get to Espresso’s and Dunkin’ Donuts easily to pack on the pounds.

The common room in Hill provides great views of Medford and is typically a good place for studying rather than socializing. The rooms are huge and include singles, doubles and one three-person apartment.