Arts & CultureBack to the BooksScene Guide

Back to the Books: Dorm Breakdown

With a wealth of dorm experiences — both good, bad and everywhere in between — Emerald staffers are here to pass on some wisdom. Check out the Emerald’s dorm by dorm breakdown of the university’s residence halls below.

Global Scholars Hall

College dorms are usually pretty barren. Not GSH. It has billiards and a sushi bar.

That’s right: in addition to housing the university’s lion’s share of Honors College and language immersion students, this academic Ritz Carlton offers dining worthy of a college-level Michelin star. Organic food is abundant and expensive enough to make Whole Foods regulars swoon.

Some of the floors are organized by the language of their inhabitants, so speakers can mingle. Study rooms are plentiful, and the dorms themselves are the most spacious on campus. Need to print a paper? The in-house library’s got you covered. It’s enough to make every non-GSH-er stare daggers if they find out where you live. Too bad the entire complex may or may not be sinking into the ground. “The hallways tilt to one side!” Bro, humble yourself. Enjoy your shrimp scampi.

Hamilton Hall

Hamilton is not just the name of a Tony Award-winning musical — it’s the most underrated dorm on campus. With rooms that are slightly bigger than Bean Hall and an off-brand Chipotle called Big Mouth Burrito, what more could you want besides indigestion? Wellness? Well, look no further.

Hamilton West is home to the Wellness Floor for students who want to live in a (relatively) quiet hall. The complex also has a basement you could easily get lost in and never return home from. There’s a residence hall called Tingle. How could you not have a shiver run down your spine knowing that?

Walton Hall

Walton is like Hamilton’s ugly cousin. It has the same small rooms and dated communal bathrooms, but without any food options in-house. On the bright side, you have the opportunity to get very close with your roommate while sharing a 130 square foot living space and walking through the rain to Hamilton or Carson for food.

A handful of rooms on the third floor of Walton can see into Hayward field during track meets, which is probably the building’s most redeeming quality. Walton is slated to be remodeled soon, but for now, residents should bring their earplugs. The university housing website warns residents that there will be construction noise and increased traffic near Walton in 2017-18 due to the Hayward field renovations.

Bean Hall

We’ve heard it all before. The biggest and nicest rooms belong to the Learning Living Center. The smart kids get a smoothie bar and a sushi chef at the Global Scholars Hall. And despite the old, cramped rooms, Hamilton still features the best variety of food options of all the dorms at the university. While other dorm halls receive glory and praise, one is consistently left out: Bean. With no dining halls and the smallest living corridors, the infamous Bean Hall has earned a bad reputation among the UO community. Luckily for the incoming freshman class, the hall is closed for the 2017-18 school year due to renovations.

While this year’s freshmen will avoid living in a dorm that is rumored to be based on the blueprints from a state prison, they’re also going to miss out on a lot. The often bleak prospects of living in Bean helped rally its community together. Like soldiers bonding while at war, the university’s lowest-rated dorm hall forged a connection between its residents that only they can understand.

Living Learning Center

Living in the Living Learning Center is living in the lap of luxury.  The hallways are as wide and as polished as the halls of Buckingham Palace. Mostly comprised of enhanced-double sized rooms, LLC has no shortage of space. It’s the perfect dorm to host friends for watch parties, game nights or other sketchy activities. Plus, if your roommate smells, just stay on your side of the room and there is a likely chance that you won’t even catch the drift. The bonus study rooms on each floor contain couches and chairs that are liftable if you want to borrow them for additional seating in your five-star shoebox.

LLC food is also top notch. At Dux Bistro, you can find a plethora of healthy options including soup, sandwiches and salad. The outdoor seating is conveniently located in front of the lawn, making it a perfect mid-day study spot if you need some fresh air. The only downside to living in LLC is the occasional lack of community. Students staying in LLC enjoy pleasant views out of large and functional windows, and sometimes — if the wind is blowing in just the right direction and the hum of the deluxe heating system lulls — they can hear the shrill cries of anguish from Bean residents down the street.

This post has been updated at 8:43 a.m. on Sept. 21 to convey the correct dining hall in LLC. 

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Sararosa Davies

Sararosa Davies

Sararosa Davies is the senior A&C editor at the Emerald. A former editor at the youth-run music blog Garage Music News, her written work has been featured in City Pages in Minneapolis, Eugene Weekly and Sirius XM's music blog. She's one of many Minnesotan transplants in Oregon.

Send her tips and questions at [email protected] or check out her work at