Hey! I'm a current student here at San Diego State University (SDSU). As an incoming freshman, I was worried about which residence hall (dorm) to chose because it seemed like a very big decision, which it is. The purpose of this thread is to lay down the basic pros and cons of each building. Hope you enjoy!
- The LLC At Maya and Olmeca:
Maya and Olmeca are known as the Living Learning Communities, meaning that all the people you live with on your floor/wing will all share something in common. For example, There is a Science/Math/Technology/Engineering floor, a "Discover San Diego" floor, and an Arts & Entertainments floor. This is an advantage because it puts you with other students with similar interests and majors. As far as actual living areas, Maya and Olmeca are normal style dorms. They are all doubles. Each room comes with 2 beds, 2 desks, 2 mini filing cabinets, 2 shelves (built into the walls), 2 closet/wardrobes, and a mini fridge/freezer/microwave combo. Maya and Olmeca also have "character" because they have a brick wall and the closet/wardrobes are built into the wall (in addition, the wardrobes are bigger than other halls). Some floors may be segregated by gender and some won't be, but there are always separate bathrooms. Maya and Olmeca are unique in that each floor has a Resident Adviser AND an Academic Mentor. Resident Advisers are in charge of the floors and Academic Mentors are like tutors that live on your floor. Maya and Olmeca also have access to a small pool with amenities such as picnic tables and coal-BBQs Maya and Olmeca are both on campus and close to many of the classroom buildings and the dining hall.
Cuicacalli is the only residence hall that is 100% suites. The positives about living in a suite is that there is a private bathroom and private kitchen. This can be very beneficial to students who like their own space. Other residence halls have public kitchens that are shared with the entire building. The Cuicacalli residents have access to a large pool. A negative about the suites is that they are much less social. Residents often don't meet many people outside of their own suite. This is due to a "closed door policy" in which the suite doors are not allowed to be propped open because they are a fire hazard. Cuicacalli is also located on campus close to many classrooms and the dining halls.
There is nothing too special about either Tenochca or Zura. They're both typical residence halls in which nearly every room is a double and there is 1 Resident Advisor per floor/wing. Many say that Zura is a party dorm, however almost any party in the residence halls is shut down immediately. The perk about being in Zura is that they have access to the Maya and Olmeca pool. Tenochca and Zura are located on campus near Maya, Olmeca, and Cuicacalli. Nothing too special here.
Chapultepec is most likely the worst of all the residence halls. It is just your average residence halls, just like Tenochca and Zura, however, it is way the hell on the other side of campus behind the Aztec Recreation Center (the gym) and away from the rest of the dorms and campus. Almost all the people I've spoken to in Capultepec wish they were in the other on campus residence halls because they are so far from all of their classes, ESPECIALLY as freshmen. The only positive I can see is that is is one of the newest buildings, but all the other buildings are in decent condition as well, so there's no point. Also, there is a grill that serves pretty good food every Thursday, but you don't need to be a resident to go.
- University Towers:
There are very few freshman allowed in University Towers. They have what are called mini-suites. This means that for every 2 rooms, there is a bathroom shared between them, while the sinks are in the actual bedrooms. This is beneficial for students who like their own private bathrooms but also like the social aspect of the residence hall, unlike the Cuicacalli suites. University Towers is also located off campus and a decent walk to any of the classrooms located on campus.
- Villa Alvarado Apartments:
The apartments, like University Towers, are not really for freshmen. They are just normal apartments with a living room, kitchen, and bedrooms. These are more for the upperclassmen who return to SDSU but do not want to return to the residence halls. The apartments are located off campus and also have a pool.
There you have it! A complete guide to the residence halls here at SDSU. Many people say they want to party and they think choosing the right hall is important for that. But if you're social and you meet lots of people your first few weeks here, you should have no problem finding what you want. On the other hand, if you'd rather study, no one is going to force you to go out solely due to the residence hall you live in. I hope this was helpful and answered many of the questions you may have, but if it didn't, post it in the comments and I'll try to help you out!