Housing 2013/2014

<p>While I completely respect the sticky above "Read Before Starting New Housing Thread" it was started in 2007, is over 41 pages and 600 posts long - and I read them all. There is great stuff in there and I highly recommend browsing through it. The first post is awesome, the next 5 pages are about meal plans and it gets cumbersome to search through it all. I assume with construction and renovations, some of that info is outdated and we could use a new housing thread for new times. (Forgive me if I violated some forum code doing this!) I have been over that thread, the website, and still have some questions, assume others do too.</p>

<p>With acceptances coming out soon, want to be sure I get the process and understand if there is anything time critical in terms of giving you a better priority. It sounds like after student is accepted they will apply for housing, listing preferences in order like facility type, roommate and lifestyle. And here comes the question - do you have a large window of time - a housing enrollment period - to have this submitted by? Meaning it doesn't make a difference if it is done the first day or the last day of the enrollment period? Or is it better to get it in asap? Then if I understand correctly, at some point you get an "offer" with your housing assignment. I assume it's not like getting tickets on Ticketmaster - where you can ask for another option and have it in 30 seconds - I am thinking you have to accept it or you go to end of line, or might miss housing altogether?</p>

<p>Secondly, I have heard of renovations, anything worth noting like old dorms gone new-ish?</p>

<p>Any current/former residents love or hate anything specific about UCLA housing? I was disappointed to find out major is not a preference as I think different majors have different demands and I like the idea of people with similar pursuits/study needs exploring them more by living together. But only my opinion....sure there is another side as well.</p>

<p>I don’t remember exactly how the housing process worked so I don’t want to speculate about your 1st question, but they built a few new dorms (Gardenia and Holly Ridge) in the past year, they’ve had construction around Sproul for a while (I believe the new ones will be called Sproul Landing and Sproul Cove and there’s one that will be built near Rieber and will have its own dining hall). Dykstra is undergoing renovations, it’s typically known as one of the more social dorms. I only stayed in the dorms for a year but pretty much there aren’t that many 3rd or 4th years around since they all move out to apartments.
FYI the dorm rooms are tiny but I heard Gardenia and Holly Ridge are a little more spacious so that’s good news. </p>

<p>Right now it seems kind of limited in terms of themed housing, I personally feel they could expand on that since most people pair up with someone they already know or get random roommates.</p>

<p>When you are admitted and sign up for housing, it doesn’t matter if you sign up earlier or later than other people–as long as you meet the deadline. You’re dumped into a lottery pool with everyone else who signed up for housing. Your chances of getting something nice is just as good as anybody else’s. As a first year, I believe you find out which building you get before you finish high school, but you find out the exact room type and your rooommate’s information (provided they allow it to be released to you) sometime in the summer, around August.</p>

<p>Once you are given an offer, you accept it or you don’t. If you don’t like it but want something else, you must accept it for now, and later submit something called a CAR, Change of Assignment Request. It won’t be immediate and your request might not be granted.</p>

<p>All of the dorms are nice, but the suites (Saxon, Hitch) usually get less love. The popularity of a dorm usually decreases with elevation. The dorms are located on an uphill slab of land called The Hill. Meaning the higher you are on the hill, the more you have to walk, and the further away you are from campus. People like to be closer to campus. That said, some of the prettier and nicer buildings (recently renovated) are at the top of the hill (any of the Hedricks or Riebers).</p>

<p>Housing by major isn’t a big deal. I’ve never heard anybody complain about it when actually get to UCLA. You’ll find tons of people who may have similar interests. No point in trying to cram all of the psychobiology majors together on a floor so they can talk about the Morris water maze all day.</p>

<p>Interesting observation, although Saxon and Hitch are suites and hence expensive, perhaps less social than the halls and plazas, so I’d fault those 2 reasons too besides being the farthest. I’d be intrigued to see if people really do list De Neve or Dykstra as their top choices, since Rieber has its own perks as well (Feast, Rendezvous, easy access to Hedrick dining hall) despite the godawful stairs you have to walk up. Vista and Terrace were two of my favorite buildings. Sproul is also nice considering you’ve got Covel and Cafe 1919 right there and Rieber is just up the massive stairs. </p>

<p>For me I probably would have enjoyed a themed housing arrangement, because I lived in a plaza and didn’t really get to meet or know anyone on my floor. Though that can partly be blamed on my introverted personality and me not making an effort or attending floor meetings/hanging out in the lounge. My place was a mix of transfers, 2nd years, and 1st years, and there were some international students as well, everyone with seemingly different majors. It would have been nice if I got to know people right off the bat that had something in common with me (major), and then from there that would open up opportunities to study together, discuss classes, etc.</p>

<p>Great posts so far folks, thanks so much. Good details on the process - good to know you accept then do CAR if need be (hopefully not) - and some great insight into the ups (like stairs) and downs of some of the sites. I agree living with others outside major shouldn’t be a big deal, but mine S is probably a bit like UCdreams and living with engineers like himself and talking about it all day would actually be good. But college is a jungle, he has to figure out how to put himself out there and meet people he can work/study with, just harder to do for some, and engineers are usually their own breed at most schools. From friends, it seems a lot of the kids that end up unhappy at college don’t make the right social connections that first semester and end up lost the rest of the time till they transfer or graduate. I actually think it is easier to be lonely at a bigger school sometimes. But I digress, back to housing…</p>

<p>Didn’t see any mention of Sunset Village, is that typically upperclassmen? I think they are plazas which I need to refresh what those are compared to suites/dorms. Only drawn to it cause it is close to one of the sets of tennis courts and S is a player. Which one do ya’ll think has the best dining/food choices? Important part for any college guy! Hitch and Saxton seem pretty far away from the rest. Thanks for your help it has been great so far, there are a lot of buildings to get familiar with. Between cc and open house, we can nail it.</p>

<p>I also believe they hold a “room swap” event sometime early in the quarter where you can meet other people who are looking to change rooms, and then go from there. </p>

<p>Luckily I already had a group of friends from summer so it wasn’t really a big deal not getting to know anyone in my building besides the RA and my roommates and a few other people, however I do regret not at least trying and going to the building specific events or saying hi to someone and starting a conversation from there. </p>

<p>Sunset Village I’d say is a decent mix of transfers and 1st and 2nd years, Courtside for example has its own private bathrooms. However it’s located a little away from all the action (so a little quieter) and the design of the floors is such that there isn’t a tremendous amount of social interaction (although people will be out in the hallway or in the lounge every night), but the courtyard outside is kind of nice and the whole building is divided into sections like C1-C9 yet connected so you will probably know some people from the adjoining/flanking sections. </p>

<p>Dorms have communal bathrooms for the whole floor and the rooms are quite squished if you’re in a triple, suites I think have a common area between rooms. I heard a lot of athletes (i.e. from the basketball or football teams) live there. For dining/food you get sick of the same options after a while once you go through all of them, regardless there’s still decent variety (Feast is Asian food, Rendezvous has Mexican/Asian food, Cafe 1919 Italian, the dining halls have your typical pizzas, hot dogs, salad bar, cereal, whatever special is on the menu that day). I preferred Feast, Covel was convenient, and De Neve simply gets too crowded around dinner time. Also a new dining hall is being built (as well as a gym) for Sproul residents so keep an eye out for that. </p>

<p>There’s most definitely a tennis club on campus or an intramural team, I would encourage your son to join so he can find people to play with.</p>

<p>I should add that Hedrick tends to be the least crowded dining hall, not sure if things have changed. Also totally left out BruinCafe, I used to go there all the time since they open until late night (alternatively there’s late night at De Neve). If you’re on campus there are a lot of choices to eat (Ackerman, Bombshelter, Luvalle Commons, Northern Lights, a place by the Anderson School, Cafe Synapse, a cafe in the Broad Art Center and in Boelter, vending machines are everywhere, and Westwood is a short walk away (with Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Target, tons of restaurants and pizza places). If you have a car to go beyond Westwood, even better, and if you live in SoCal and are able to return home each week then some home-cooked/home-prepared food is great too.</p>

<p>Regarding meeting friends the first quarter, I recommend making some connections in class! It’s common for people from other dorms to visit others for the purposes of study groups. Personally, I had a better experience making friends from class than in the dorms (a plaza in my case). That’s particularly true the first quarter when everybody is trying to make friends! So I definitely recommend to not hesitate talking to the person sitting next to you in class.</p>

<p>Sunset Village (composed of Delta Terrace, Courtside and Canyon Point) does have its reputation as being quieter. They are plazas with private bathrooms in each dorm room. They’re fine, just quieter and less social. Delta Terrace is a transfer student building, so not very many first and second years there.</p>

<p>In my experience, all of the dining halls started to taste the same and it mattered less what they served. What mattered more was how far they were. As a result, by the end of my first year I ate almost exclusively at De Neve. But it’s so true how nice BruinCafe is open late at night (closes at 2AM). Regarding Rieber Feast and Hedrick dining halls, I don’t even know what’s open when anymore. Since they’ve opened Feast, they’ve closed Hedrick during some meal periods (I moved out this year). So it’s a bit harder to track down what’s open now.</p>

<p>Room swaps do occur at the beginning of the year (in October, I believe ~ around the second week perhaps). I’m not sure if it recurs every quarter, but they might.</p>

Need to take a break from finals, so…</p>

<p>Even that I find tough, meeting new people through classes hasn’t been a resounding success. Unless there’s a project or assignment that pairs me with other people so we actually have a reason to talk, I’m kind of oblivious to people around me. I guess I’m a tough cookie when it comes to spontaneously talking to a random person, basically depends on your personality. Never bothered with study groups since I study better individually, but good to know people to ask questions/work out a problem with. I still feel that joining clubs (Enormous Activities Fair is the event to watch out for, 0 week of fall quarter) is the best way to meet new people. </p>

<p>And you’re right, fall quarter is the optimal time to make new friends as a freshman since as the year goes on people will establish their group of friends that they hang out with and it’ll be hard to join their “clique” so to speak unless there’s a mutual friend or something. Don’t have any comment on Greek life as I’m not in a fraternity but I do know people in frats/sororities so I could get input if anyone here is curious. </p>

<p>I think Delta Terrace had a problem with ants recently. Anyway, I also liked Rieber for its gameroom with air hockey, pool, and foosball. </p>

<p>Yeah I would agree, I gravitated to Covel a lot as it was the closest to me and my main group of friends. Luckily for people living in the dorms this year Feast opened up for dinner but like every other place the novelty wears off over time. Regardless it probably has the most unique food offerings compared to the other dining halls and it had this one delicious tasting drink (forget the exact name, passion something).</p>

<p>I’ve heard about the idea of CC meetups but not sure if it’s amounted to anything yet…UCLA Reddit community has had meetups before I think</p>

<p>Hope your finals went/going well UCdreams. Any big housing impact this year out of the ordinary? You guys mentioned new stuff in the Sproul bldgs and some remodeling of others. So do you thing this is just normal continuous renovation? Guess I am asking – is there any more significant impact to housing next year that you know of compared to the last couple years? Hopefully they won’t try to make rooms quads! That’s a joke…I hope so anyway.</p>

<p>Thanks. Glad to be done - the tests were brutal. </p>

<p>Not that I’m aware of, since I live off-campus now, but last year people living in Dykstra had to move out during the quarter which was a little inconvenient. I suppose I could note an annoyance in which fire alarms go off every now and then and you have to leave whatever you’re doing and evacuate the premises. Not sure what else I can mention, just be sure to not forget your BruinCard since you need it for the dining halls/entry to buildings, or your room key. Get to know the RA, he/she can help out with whatever issues you are experiencing. Packages you have can be picked up near the front desk (varies by building, for Sunset Village you get referred to Sproul), lots of study rooms/lounges around, in Rieber there’s a room with a piano. You may or may not get a good view from your window, you might get lucky and be able to see LA or you might face continuing construction and see squat. Apparently some dorms don’t have air conditioning, the windows become your best friend/let in needed light. Bathrooms in the halls are cleaned everyday, the private ones in the plazas once a week. Occasionally there are room checks but they can’t touch anything so cover up items that aren’t supposed to be there (such as a microwave, however you are allowed to rent a microfridge). You don’t want to be written up for any reason. And Sunset Rec is a nice place to relax, there’s a big grassy field and some pools. </p>

<p>There’s always construction at any given time (currently new Engineering structure and music building in the works) but they’ve already taken up every last bit of green/open space so I don’t know if the Hill can take additional new buildings other than the ones being built now, renovations of the existing dorms seems more likely, although most are relatively new. It’s going to be incredibly crowded up there, without a doubt, though the housing guarantee will be extended to all 4 years instead of 3. As far as meal plans I had 19P which was very flexible and let me eat whenever I wanted, unfortunately I did not take full advantage of this and had excess meal swipes at the end of the quarter that I had to use on packs of bottled water or Gatorades. Also swiped in friends all the time, who were on the more restrictive plans (14). 14P should suffice, I went home nearly every weekend so 19P was kind of a waste.</p>

<p>@bdkennis - agreed with your comment in other thread, this was started a couple weeks ago and has a few great posts already, so here you go with a bump…</p>

<p>Generally how long do people live on campus, 2 years or do the stay the guaranteed three? Is getting your choice easier when you reapply as a current student?</p>

<p>Lastly, are off campus apartments in walking distance really hard to find? And in general do they run more than dorms to live decently (i.e., not cramming 4 people in a one bedroom)?</p>


<p>Most people I know lived in the dorms for their first two years, then either moved out or became RAs. </p>

<p>Off campus apartments can be about the same distance as the dorms; they can be closer, depending on what part of campus you’re trying to get to (there are apartments that are ~5 minutes from the court of sciences, but they’re literally in Westwood so they tend to be more expensive); and there are apartments that are a bit farther away South of Wilshire that are a good 25-30 minutes from campus but also tend to be cheaper. There are A LOT of options for apartments, there’s no problem getting one that’s within walking distance for a decent price. </p>

<p>Price depends on what kind of situation, really. If you want your own bedroom, it’s gonna be more expensive than sharing a bedroom, just like the dorms. I’ve been in 1 bed/1bath with three people for under $600/month rent each, and I know people in 2 bed/2bath/4 people for $600-800 or less. You’re gonna have to pay for utilities/food but I’d say it’s generally about the same as the dorms if not cheaper.</p>

<p>You might find living in a university apartment appealing. They’re furnished and come at a flat rate, so use all the utilities you want. You would sign up the same process as signing up for a dorm (just pick an apartment instead of a dorm). Maintain your housing guarantee if you want to do that, otherwise you will be entered into the lottery. Lots of people move out after the second year, some choose to do it their first or third year–anything goes, really.</p>