Housing Issue: On-Grounds

The Cavalier Daily highlights options for the 2014-2015 academic year

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The Lawn

Location:
The Lawn, which was the center of Thomas Jefferson’s original design for the University, is the middle of Central Grounds. While “Lawnies,” the term for those who live on the Lawn, can roll out of bed and into the Rotunda, a trip to the Aquatic and Fitness Center, Gilmer Hall or North Grounds requires a bit of a walk.

The Lawn- Marshal Bronfin

Layout:
The Lawn contains 54 individual rooms set between 10 Pavilions, where members of the faculty live. Odd numbered rooms are on West Lawn, while even numbered rooms are on the East side. Rooms come furnished with a bed, bookshelves, a dresser, a wardrobe and sink, but residents must walk to restrooms.

Pros:
Fourth-year College students Abe Wapner and Cameron Dodge, both Lawn residents, said they valued the Lawn community.

“I think the people are some of the most interesting, most friendly, most passionate people I’ve met at the University,” Wapner said. “Surrounding myself with that environment makes me more motivated, more excited.”

Apart from the community, Wapner and Dodge said they enjoyed the number of events taking place on the Lawn and the number of people they have met there.

“You’re going to be a hub of social activity,” Wapner added. “I would be doing the community a disservice if I kept my door shut all the time.”

Cons:
While the lack of air-conditioning and the need to share a bathroom deters some people, Dodge and Wapner said the positives far outweigh the negatives.

“Having lived in dorms for three years, this is the largest room I have had so far,” Wapner said. As to the lack of a kitchen, “The Corner is closer than it has ever been.”

Dodge pointed out that other housing arrangements lack air conditioning.

“I got my first-year box fan there in the window — it’s a throwback,” Dodge said. “The ceilings are really high, and that really helps with the heat.”

Wapner said the application to the Lawn was intense and essay-heavy, while Dodge described it as constricting.

“They ask you specific things, and the application doesn’t give you much space,” Dodge said. “You have to very conscious in what you want to tell about your time and your experience.”

Costs:
The lawn cost $5,930 for a single room with a fireplace. $5,780 for a small single room without a fireplace.

-compiled by Joseph Liss

Lambeth

Lambeth Field Apartments - Marshal Bronfin

Location:
Lambeth Field Apartments are located near Central Grounds on Emmet Street. Also nearby are John Paul Jones Arena, University Hall and the Emmet/Ivy Parking Garage.

Layout:
Lambeth offers the choice of either four- or six-person apartments all featuring double bedrooms. There are 174 apartments housed in 24 buildings, and each is equipped with air-conditioning, a kitchen and furniture. The four-person apartments feature one-and-a-half bathrooms while six-person apartments have two full bathrooms.

Pros:
A large proportion of Lambeth residents are second-years, so there is a good chance you will be neighbors with friends you made in your first year. But the true gem of Lambeth Field Apartments is Lambeth Field itself. The field is spacious and accommodates a wide variety of interests such as soccer, football, ultimate frisbee and even your short game of golf.

The location is also just a short walk away from John Paul Jones Arena and the Olympic sports fields, for those interested in college athletics. A staircase ascending from the top of Lambeth field leads directly to Rugby road, for those interested in Greek life.

“To be honest, Lambeth is nice because it has [air-conditioning] that we didn’t have last year,” second-year College student Anish Doshi said. “The apartments aren’t too far away, and are pretty sweet inside, because they’re furnished and clean.”

Cons:
“I wish C3 had hot food,” Doshi said, referring to the convenience store located in Lambeth Commons. Residents should not expect something as grand as The Castle or Crossroads when visiting C3 in Lambeth.

Train tracks run adjacent to Lambeth, but the train noises are more of a minor annoyance than an actual complaint.

Cost:
Lambeth costs $5,760 for a room in a three-bedroom apartment and $5,620 for one in a two-bedroom apartment.

-compiled by Matthew Wurzberger

Bice

Bice - Marshal Bronfin

Location:
Bice House is on Brandon Avenue, down the street from Student Health and off of Jefferson Park Avenue.

Layout:
Bice has eight floors, one of which is the German Language House. Students can choose between six- and four-person apartments with single or double rooms. The basement, known as the “Bicement,” offers some common space and occasional free food.

Pros:
Students living in Bice receive a kitchenette and a common room, and second-year College student Bryan Cochran, a current Bice resident, said the location is great. “I lived in Gooch last year, so everything is so much closer compared to living [there],” Cochran said.

Cochran said the rooms were nice, though he may have gotten lucky in receiving a larger room.

Though most of the University’s social scene resides on the other side of Grounds in the 14th Street and Rugby Road areas, Cochran said the walk was not bad. “I really like walking down the Lawn, so I’ll do that any chance I can,” he said. “If I want to go somewhere on the Corner, I’ll just walk down the Lawn.”

Cons:
Cochran added that Bice lacks the sense of community some other living arrangements have. “Outside of the people that I know, it’s not a place that you go to meet new friends,” he said. “You just have the passing hello when you’re on the elevator to keep it from getting too awkward.”

Additionally, the building has an interesting smell. “Each floor has a distinct smell that is always there no matter what,” Cochran said.

Cost:
The cost is $6,920 for a single room, $5,760 for a room in a two-bedroom apartment and $5,620 for a room in a three bedroom apartment. Rates cover the nine-month academic year.

-compiled by Joseph Liss

Copeley

Copeley - Jenna Truong

Location:
Copeley Apartments are nestled in between the Darden School and the Barracks Road shopping center in North Grounds. The Law School, as well as the gym, basketball and handball courts of the North Grounds Recreation Center are also easily accessible, while the Northline buses connect the residences to Central Grounds.

Layout:
Double or single two-room apartments are available to Copeley residents, the former containing extra-long twin beds with singles having the recent addition of full-sized beds. Upon exiting the bedroom, bathrooms are immediately to the left and right — one full and one half. The suites are complete with a kitchen, which boasts a refrigerator, stove, oven and dinner table; and a living room, which includes a sofa, two armchairs, lamps and a few tables.

Pros:
Being right next to Barracks is a definite plus for Copeley residents, as they can easily restock their kitchens at Kroger, dine at the Slice pizzeria, or pick up drugs – the prescribed kind – at CVS. The apartments are not embroiled in the sometimes hectic bustle of Central Grounds and feature conveniently close parking spaces. Also, the person-per-bathroom ratio is much better in Copeley than in its hall-style counterparts.

Cons:
While away from the noise of Central Grounds, Copeley is also quite a distance from most classes. If lacking personal transportation, residents will have to rely on the Northline bus to get to and from most University activities. Still, despite its sometimes inconvenient location, Copeley offers an underrated alternative to Lambeth and other mainstream living arrangements.

Costs:
Apartments with double bedrooms are priced at $5,760 while those consisting of singles cost $7,320 for the academic year.

-compiled by Robert Shimshock

Faulkner

Faulkner - Jenna Truong

Location:
Easily reachable by the Northline or Central Grounds Shuttle bus routes, Faulkner is situated next to Klockner Stadium, behind John Paul Jones arena.

Layout:
Three main buildings — Mitchell, Hench and Younger — surround a gazebo in the center of the complex. It resembles a mini-community for the 153 students who win the lottery and are selected to live there. Faulkner apartments are composed of four single bedrooms, a full-sized kitchen, a large common room and one bathroom — double sinks separate the private shower from the private toilet.

Pros:
If you’re looking for seclusion or you don’t want to miss a basketball game, Faulkner is a hidden gem. It boasts spacious living arrangements, easy access to JPJ and other sporting events, and a very short bus ride to Barracks. One lucky student is randomly selected to live in a larger single in the apartment, which does cost about $1,000 more for the year, but the space is well worth the price. Not only do you get all the amenities of on-Grounds housing — free Internet, cable, furniture and on-site laundry — but the complex also houses its own newly renovated study lounge.

It’s also a great way to experience the Law School and the Darden School of Business during your undergraduate years. Considering Faulkner is right next door to the North Grounds gym and the Law library, there is almost no need to travel all the way to Central Grounds for anything but classes. And checking out the Virginia soccer, baseball and lacrosse teams could not be easier.

Cons:
It is considerably farther from Central Grounds than other on-Grounds housing options. You will undoubtedly encounter friends who will refuse to visit you “all the way in Faulkner,” but at least this will help determine who your real friends are.

Night owls may have to worry as well — when the buses stop running, getting home will be a long trek.

Cost:
The cost is either $6,290 for a regular four-bedroom apartment or $7,320 for the larger single room.

-compiled by Alexa Allmann

The International Residential College

IRC - Marshal Bronfin

Location:
The International Residential College is one of three residential colleges and is located across from Memorial Gymnasium on Emmet Street.

Layout:
The IRC houses more than 300 students and consists of four dorm-style buildings — Munford, Gwathmey, Lewis and Hoxton. Munford and Gwathmey are hall-style dorms, and Lewis and Hoxton are suite-style. Each building consists of both single and double rooms.

Pros:

The IRC emphasizes the importance of global diversity and academic development at the University. This mission of international togetherness is evident in the many dorm-wide events, which range from field trips to Monticello to monthly dinners at Alumni Hall.

Additionally, since food serves as an appealing site for international learning, the IRC provides their residents with an early morning breakfast Monday through Friday, as well as afternoon tea on Thursdays. Moreover, each building floor boasts a full kitchen with a microwave, refrigerator and oven.

You may gain a few pounds from all of the gatherings, but the dorm’s location is just far enough from most class buildings to give you ample opportunities to burn off any excess calories. That said, the IRC is fairly convenient and accessible; you won’t find yourself leaving 30 minutes early to trek to central Grounds every morning. And if walking to class isn’t enough exercise for you, don’t forget that Memorial Gym is right across the street.

Cons:

These IRC perks are not open to all. Applications are required and consist of short essay explaining applicants’ reasons for wanting to live in the college and their potential contributions to the vibrant international community on display there. Furthermore, applying to the IRC comes with a good deal of uncertainty; roommates are assigned randomly, and the applications typically fail to address roommate compatibility.

Regarding physical accommodations, two of the buildings are not air-conditioned — Munford and Gwathmey. Despite its flaws, the IRC boasts an impressive array of opportunities for students in search of intellectual diversity.

Cost:
The cost can range from $5,290 to $6,460 for the academic year, depending on dorm size.

-compiled by Robin Yeh

Brown Residential College

Brown College- Marshal Bronfin

Location:
Brown College, one of the University’s residential colleges, is located in Central Grounds, west of the Lawn and next to Newcomb Hall.

Layout:
Brown College consists of 144 units that are occupied by about 300 undergraduate students, with each unit comprised of two single bedrooms and a bathroom shared with one to three other residents. Twelve “portals,” the residential buildings that make up the Brown College, are connected by underground tunnels that are accessible by the lower floors of the buildings. Tunnels connect students and lead residents to on-site laundry facilities, study spaces and two lounge areas.

Pros:
Brown residents reap the benefits of living in Central Grounds, with almost everything located in close proximity to the residential area. Dorm rooms in Brown are also larger than many in other on-Grounds locations and are air-conditioned. Residents enjoy a friendly, tight-knit community, with close interaction with many of the University faculty through Brown’s Faculty Fellows program. Residents also can engage in student self-governance through Brown’s Student Governance Board and attend frequent residential college activities including banquets, movie nights and the games.

Cons:
Brown College is sometimes stereotyped as the artsy, alternative residential college, as the selections process depends on a creative and original application. Applicants are required to answer thought-provoking questions, which are often said to contribute to the perceived stereotype. One recent application question stated, “They say the pen is mightier than the sword. Defeat Genghis Khan.” Also, many residents must cross through another resident’s room to get to the bathroom, which some may find annoying.

Costs:
Brown costs $6,140 per room for the 2013-2014 academic year.

-compiled by Emily Hutt

Hereford

Hereford Residential College - Jenna Truong

Location:
The Hereford Area is located off of Stadium Road adjacent to Runk Dining Hall and behind the Gooch/Dillard Residence Area. It is comprised of Hereford Residential College, which includes the Norris and Whyburn House, and the separate Johnson, Malone and Weedon Houses, which are reserved for transfer students and upperclassmen.

Layout:
The five houses are hall style dormitories consisting of single and double rooms. Bathrooms are located on each hall, as are common areas.

Pros:
Compared to on-Grounds upperclass housing, Hereford is relatively close to central Grounds — the distance to class is roughly the same as Lambeth, but it is much closer than Faulkner and Copeley. For those who still find the walk unmanageable, the Northline has two Hereford stops.

Hereford is far enough from the Corner and Emmet street to be considered “secluded,” but is just steps away from the highly-touted Runk Dining Hall. There is also an open field to toss a frisbee, play touch football, or even go tanning. For those more interested in their studies, there are a series of comfortable hammocks placed around the buildings.

If you are lucky enough to be included in the residential college, you will have access to dinners, field trips and even a series of short courses. Air-conditioning is also a plus.

Cons:
Hereford is unfortunately located directly next to a first-living area — the only such on-Grounds upperclass option with this feature — making interactions with disoriented and sometimes obnoxious underclassmen a guarantee.

Hereford is also located far from just about anywhere a party might be going on, save first-years hanging out in Dillard. Not only that, but it is the only upperclassman residence area in the vicinity, meaning visits with friends become a chore. Prepare for many long walks.

Cost:
A single room in Hereford costs $5,330, while a double costs $5,270 for the academic year.

-complied by Matthew Comey

Shea House

Shea House- Marshal Bronfin

Location:
The Shea House is located on 400 Monroe Lane, across from the Student Health Center and adjacent to Casa Bolivar.

Layout:
The Shea House houses 75 students in either single or double air-conditioned rooms on language-specific floors. There are numerous common areas, a dining area, a kitchen, laundry facilities, a satellite TV, a terrace for patio dining and an elevator.

Pros:
Shea House has a late commitment date — applications are not due until Nov. 14 — and immersive experiences are not restricted to a single language. Shea House residents can be students of Italian, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi and Urdu, Japanese, Korean or Persian. Each floor has a language assistant to assist in the immersive process. There are also opportunities for student self-governance.

“There is lots of cultural diversity here,” said fourth-year College student Jason Jeon, an exchange student from Korea here to study Japanese. “The language assistant always prepares interesting games or movies. On the Japanese floor, [for example], we play games every Monday. I feel like I’m learning more [culturally] about Japan even though I am here [in the United States].”

Located almost directly next to Nau and Gibson Halls, Shea House just recently underwent a $3.5 million renovation. Based on availability, you can apply for a single semester. Dinner is provided Monday through Thursday at the house, and the on-Grounds meal plan includes swipes to the Shea House dining facility for lunch.

Cons:
There are activity participation requirements and relatively strict rules. You are required to speak your chosen language in all common areas. Roommate requests are not guaranteed, and you cannot choose your particular room. The number of single rooms is relatively limited and also not guaranteed. The dinner-only meal option can be limiting, especially since no food is provided on weekends.

Cost:
The costs are $5,730 for a double and $6,310 for a single room. Rates are for the nine-month academic year.

-compiled by Julia Horowitz

Casa Bolivar

Spanish House- Marshal Bronfin

Location:
Casa Bolivar, the Spanish House, is located on 1408 Jefferson Park Ave., between the French House and the Shea House. It is very close to Grounds, located just across the street from Wilson Hall, New Cabell Hall and a block away from Nau Hall.

Layout:
Casa Bolivar houses 24 students in either single or double air-conditioned rooms. The space includes numerous common areas, a satellite TV, a kitchen and laundry facilities.

Pros:
Casa Bolivar has a relatively later commitment date — the selection committee does not begin reviewing applications until early November.

Casa Bolivar also provides an excellent atmosphere for improving Spanish. “You get to live with a community of people with very similar interests, because of that, you bond with them and of course you get to practice Spanish,” second-year College student Blake Selph said. “We also have many weekly events that are great opportunities to practice Spanish and bond with your housemates and other students — things like conversational [meetings] and poetry readings.”

Cons:
Dinner is only offered Monday through Friday, and participation in an on-Grounds meal plan is required. Parking is also limited.

Cost:
The costs are $5,730 for a double and $6,310 for a single room for the nine-month academic year.

-compiled by Julia Horowitz

La Maison Francaise

French House- Marshal Bronfin

Location:
La Maison Francaise, the French House, is located on 1404 Jefferson Park Ave., next to Casa Bolivar near the Nursing School.

Layout

La Maison Francaise has 17 student bedrooms, with one triple, eight doubles and eight singles. The rooms feature air-conditioning, extra-long twin beds, desks, dressers and carpeted floors. The house also includes a large living room for conversation groups and social functions, a library for student study, a seminar room where French courses are taught, a dining room and laundry facilities. The house, both structurally and decoratively, boasts classic French style.

Pros:

Applicants have a later commitment date than many other options — the selection committee does not begin reviewing applications until Oct. 24. Students can also apply to live in the house for a single semester. There are also opportunities to become involved in residence student self-governance.

Residents of La Maison Francaise have a close bond. “The first thing is this is, in fact, a home,” fourth-year College student Daniel Paylor said. “It really feels like one big family. Coming home and speaking a different language in the halls and at dinners is a very special feeling.”

Living in the French House guarantees an increase in language proficiency. Residents can enjoy language programming such as the weekly Pause Café, an informal language discussion that runs on Thursdays, and French Ciné, which is a regular film showing. The language house meal program includes dinners at the house Monday through Thursday.

Cons:
No reserved parking is available at La Maison. Alcohol cannot be stored or consumed in or around residence halls, per University policy, even if students are of age. Also, language requirements can sometimes feel limiting. “Even when you’re tired, you’re still required to speak French in the halls — no matter your level of proficiency,” Paylor said. Many residents have grown up speaking French, which can lead to both increased skill yet a larger margin of catch-up to play.

Cost:
The costs are $5730 for a classic double, $5900 for a large double and $6310 for a single room. Rates are for the nine-month academic year.

-compiled by Julia Horowitz

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