I recently completed my freshman year of living on campus and had a wonderful experience.
I would recommend the new Barrett community for next year if it wasn't so ridiculously expensive. If that isn't a big concern for you then I'm sure you or your student will have a great experience there.
Next year I will be living in the Arcadia Residential Community (a newly formed community for students in the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts). The Herberger Institute is brand new this upcoming year, as the College of Design and the Herberger College of the Arts merged together.
Here's some information on the community: Athena Living and Learning Community (Residential College): College of Design: ASU
A new website should go up later this summer with more information about Arcadia and with information introducing each member of the Pro-Staff, Community Assistants, Student Academic Mentors, and Peer Mentors for the Arcadia Community.
It is exciting to see a new residential community form. Arcadia will be housed in Best Halls A, B, and C which is in the Center Neighborhood (near the Memorial Union for food, Grady Gammage Auditorium, the School of Music, W.P. Carey School of Business, pretty close to the School of Design and many other parts of campus such as the Student Recreation Center). The the dorms are some of the older ones on campus, they were still pretty good (I lived there last year). Additionally, Best Halls A and B (and perhaps C) are being heavily renovated over the summer.
Best Halls A and B have single sex floors (this year I believe they will be 1st floor guys, 2nd and 3rd girls) linked by a stairwell at each end. Best Hall C has five floors (it has stairs and an elevator). The mailroom, front desk, and community director housing and offices are on the first floor. Floors two through five are co-ed housing.
Other Halls in Our Neighborhood:
The other halls that make up our neighborhood include Hayden East (room doors open to the outside), Hayden West (room doors open to the outside), and Hayden South (rooms open to a "traditional" hallway), as well as Irish Halls A and B (for which the room doors of each open to a private courtyard for that respective hall). All these halls are in the same gated community.
Further up north (not in our same gated community, but still considered part of Center Neighborhood) is McClintock Hall, where the College of Design Residential Community used to be housed. Beginning Fall 2009, McClintock Hall will be upperclassmen housing.
The Haydens (East, South, and West) will be FYRE (First Year Residential Experience) Communities. I personally know a couple of the Community Assistants who will be placed there for 2009-10, so I would recommend Hayden. I believe Irish A and B will be for non-honors sustainability majors.
Other tidbits of advice/knowledge:
- Meal plans are required for all students who live on campus except for a couple of specified upperclassmen halls (they want underclassmen to eat together, particularly in the dining halls, to try and get to know eachother)
- ASU now has two Health Service Centers (one in north campus and one in south campus)
- A question was asked about whether students should bring cars with them to college. The answer for this is that everyone has difference needs and circumstances. I personally didn't bring one because I really didn't need one (and I saved a couple thousand dollars in parking permit fees). I had a few friends who brought cars and regretted it because they never used it (the cheapest parking is really far in north campus, and even with shuttles can be a little inconvenient to get to) and could have saved money by not bringing it. I have a couple of friends who truly felt they needed their cars to blow off pent up energy and leave ASU occasionally to relieve stress.
- If you take your student ID to Transit Services in the northern part of campus you can get a free valley metro bus and lightrail pass. I just used that to ride the lightrail or bus around.
- ASU has a number of excellent libraries where you can find good places to study.
- Most places on campus have free wireless internet (you sign into the internet on your computer by using your ASURITE ID and password)
I hope you all are excited for college, particularly for living on campus. If you have the right attitude I'm confident that you can have a great experience anywhere on campus.