Beyond the Dorms: Housing Options at Dartmouth!
There are several different types of on-campus housing offered at Dartmouth: housing communities/dorms, Living Learning Communities (LLCs), and Greek housing (There are a couple of college-owned apartment options for upperclassmen as well, and, of course, the possibility of living off-campus too)! I'm in the somewhat unique position of having lived in all three, so I thought I'd elaborate a bit more on what each option looks like.
There are already several blog posts about the housing communities, but here is a quick summary: we have six housing communities here at Dartmouth, and you're sorted randomly into one of them at the start of your first year here. Each housing community has a designated cluster of dorms on campus that you'll continue to live in for all four years, should you choose to continue living in the dorms. Even if you don't live in your housing community's assigned dorms, you're still a part of that community for all four years, and you can still attend events and participate in activities hosted by your housing community regardless.
I'm in School House (cool house!), and my first year here, I lived in the School House dorms. Usually, you stay in one room with the same roommate(s) for your entire first year, but due to COVID circumstances my first year, housing processes were a bit different, so I spent my first year fall in Wheeler Hall with one roommate, and my winter and spring in Mid Massachusetts Hall with another. It's important to note that your first-year roommate is assigned to you by the college; over the summer before you move in, you fill out a survey with lifestyle questions about when you go to bed, how organized you are, when/where you plan to study, etc., and the college uses those answers to match you with a roommate. Since many students come into Dartmouth not knowing anyone, this was really helpful in my experience and saved me a lot of extra stress of having to find my own roommate my first term.
There's a wide array of room arrangements of dorm rooms at Dartmouth, including singles, one-room doubles, two-room doubles, two-room triples, suites with several rooms branching off one common space shared by roommates… the list goes on. In my first year, both of my rooms were two-room triples that were temporarily being used as two-room doubles (once again, COVID), but I've known students who have had all of the previously listed arrangements for their first year. You can express some preferences on the aforementioned survey, and if you need a single for a specific accommodation, you can reach out to the housing office, and they'll work with you!
Overall, I really enjoyed living in the dorms my first year; the biggest highlight for me was the opportunity to live on a floor exclusively with other first-year students. Finding COVID-safe workarounds, our UGA (like an RA at other schools) hosted a variety of activities for us to hang out and get to know each other, and since everyone was in a similar position of just arriving at Dartmouth and trying to meet new people, every single person was super friendly and always willing to say hi and chat! One of my very best friends today lived right across the hall from me during my first fall.
Living Learning Communities!
In my sophomore year, I decided to apply to live in Triangle House, Dartmouth's LGBTQ+ Living Learning Community (LLC). An LLC at Dartmouth is a residential space designed around a specific interest or identity so that students who share that interest/identity can live with each other and build community around it. There are a number of LLCs across campus, including the Native American House, the Sustainable Living Center, La Casa (a language-based LLC where students are expected to speak only Spanish with each other and at events), and, of course, Triangle House!
After writing a quick application with just a few very short essay questions about why I wanted to live in Triangle House and how I hoped to contribute to the community there, I was happy to find out I'd been assigned a double in Triangle House with a good friend! TriHo (as it's affectionately called) is a really nice building with more kitchen materials than most dorms, and our room was huge—we're pretty sure to this day that we had the largest one-room double on campus. The basement has several study rooms that I practically lived in at some points during my time there, including a room with couches that had several bookshelves with just about any queer book and film you can imagine. I was really grateful for the opportunity to live alongside other queer students and attend community events throughout the year, including the fall welcome barbecue in our backyard, a catered community Panera dinner, midterms and finals study breaks, movie nights, and so much more!
Greek Housing! In my junior fall and spring–and now again for my senior year—I decided to live in Alpha Theta, my gender-inclusive Greek house. If you're a member of a Greek organization at Dartmouth, you're not required to live in the house at any point—many affiliated students graduate without ever living in their house. Personally, I'm so glad I took advantage of the chance to live in my house! While it's still on-campus, college-coordinated housing, the house itself is privately owned, meaning we have more flexibility when it comes to what we do with our rooms. As such, each room in the house has some kind of theme and is painted colorfully in accordance with that theme. There's also a lot more flexibility with move-in and move-out dates since the college doesn't regulate that as strictly as they do with the dorms. As someone who has to travel pretty far to get home, I really appreciate the flexibility with that timeline.
In my junior fall and spring–and now again for my senior year—I decided to live in Alpha Theta, my gender-inclusive Greek house. If you're a member of a Greek organization at Dartmouth, you're not required to live in the house at any point—many affiliated students graduate without ever living in their house. Personally, I'm so glad I took advantage of the chance to live in my house! While it's still on-campus, college-coordinated housing, the house itself is privately owned, meaning we have more flexibility when it comes to what we do with our rooms. As such, each room in the house has some kind of theme and is painted colorfully in accordance with that theme. There's also a lot more flexibility with move-in and move-out dates since the college doesn't regulate that as strictly as they do with the dorms. As someone who has to travel pretty far to get home, I really appreciate the flexibility with that timeline.
However, the biggest benefit to living in my Greek house has been the social interaction! I know everyone I live with pretty well, and every time I go downstairs, there's someone hanging out in the living room, doing homework, playing board games, or just having a conversation. I can always rely on there being someone downstairs that I can stop and chat with on my way in or out of the house, and there's something to do or someone to talk to at pretty much all hours of the day. Also, we have some really good bean bag chairs—I think in my junior fall, I spent as many nights on our bean bags as I did in my own bed :) Having experienced almost all the on-campus housing options Dartmouth has to offer, I can say I've enjoyed all of them—while they certainly each have their own benefits and character, each one has offered me a new way not just to sleep in a room at night, to get to know other people and spend quality time with them!