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The What's What of Dorms

GoBlueWolverineGoBlueWolverine 29 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
Hiya y’all! I’m an upperclassman currently at U of M. I figured I’d share some facts and thoughts and experiences I’ve had with the dorms to shed a little light on the topic :) I’ll be listing the dorms in order of size [number of students who live there]. I will do my best to be as accurate as possible, but I may have forgotten something and some small details might be slightly inaccurate since I haven’t lived in every dorm. I can also say that generally dorms have a game/recreation area, printing/study area (CLC), a small kitchen students can use, a cultural lounge, and a small café or shop. Not every dorm has all of those things (EX: I don’t believe Markley has a kitchen) though. Before I get into that, though, I want to debunk two common misconceptions.
1.) Being on north campus is in NO way the end of the world. Or even necessarily a bad thing. Yes, it can be slightly inconvenient as you have to learn the bussing system and wake up a little earlier to get to central campus classes… but unlike 40 years ago, there’s actually plenty of cool things on north campus. To name a few things, not far away is Cardamom (wonderful Indian restaurant), a Panera, a Subway, etc. Pierpont is a super fun place to hang out and is kinda like the Union of North Campus. The Dude is a beautiful library. There’s the Videogame Archive where you can use all sort of game consoles and games for hours on end. The nature is GORGEOUS. There are the swings. Basically, don’t knock north campus until you get there. Again, it can be inconvenient… but a lot of things are inconvenient without being bad. There are also plus sides to the dorms, which I’ll get to momentarily!
2.) Most people I’ve met have loved their freshman year dorm regardless of which one it was. 99.9% of the reason? The people. The people are the reason you’ll make memories and laugh and cry and all sorts of other things, and that’s true regardless of whether you’re in SQuad, Oxford, or Baits II.

BURSLEY: Bursley has the capacity to hold well over 1200 students, making it the biggest dorm. Mostly freshmen live in Bursley, but it’s not necessarily all freshmen. Bursley is a long, sprawling building with granted somewhat dim/small hallways. It has many types of rooms. However, it has a nice little snack store and games and things to do down by the community center (CC). Because it is largely freshmen and the largest dorm, a lot of incoming students will end up here. This means that the community can be a great place, as it’s a whole building full of people trying to make friends and get to know everyone! Seriously, don’t underestimate how much of a plus that is. Another plus is the dining hall… they have really cool themed dinners I’ll come up from central campus just to attend on occasion (EX: Harry Potter), and the dining hall itself is beautiful. It’s two large, modern eating areas with large windows sandwiching the serving area. This is the only dining hall on north campus, making it a frequent stop for people living in Bursley, Baits, potentially Northwood, and those with north campus classes. People often joke about a raccoon that likes to hang out by one of the trash cans outside Bursley. This is the biggest dorm on North Campus.
PRO TIP: For people moving into Bursley… your MLead helper will probably tell you this, but if they don’t, overcrowding the elevators with a ton of people, blue bins, and heavy items will make an elevator stop working until it can be fixed. This means you, and everyone else, may have to take their stuff up via the stairs.
MARKELY: “The Freshman Warehouse” as some joke, and is all freshmen. This is both a good and bad thing. Truthfully, Markley gets poked fun at quite a bit. There are lots of jokes about its lack of air conditioning, smaller rooms, weird layout, and some comments about bugs (namely cockroaches). Yes, I’ve known some people who’ve said they’ve seen cockroaches in their rooms/etc. But the vast majority of those I’ve known who’ve lived there haven’t. Markley is I believe four floors and has some good study spaces as well as a small dining hall. Having eaten there, it has a limited menu, but the food isn’t half bad and it has some fun options. Basically, it’s a good place to eat if you live in Markley. I know people who have hated Markley, but I also know quite a few who adored it… that said, nobody really adores the building. As I mentioned earlier, people love their dorm because of the people. As I said, Markley is ALL freshmen: it’s a bunch of people who want to make friends. Additionally, Markley is a place a lot of freshmen go when they want to hang out because, from what I’ve been told, the RAs there tend to be a little more laid back. So even though I’m not gonna lie and say Markley is a fantabulous building, I can honestly say that there’s a good chance someone moving in there loves it anyway. This is the biggest dorm on the Hill, though it’s kind of tucked behind the other Hill dorms.
PRO TIP: For those living in Markley… As I mentioned, the layout is a little weird. You have to go through the second floor to get to certain parts of the dorm? Something along those lines. That means certain areas get super crowded during move-in, so please be patient and listen to your MLead helper.
SOUTH QUAD: SQuad, as it’s affectionately been called, is the largest central campus dorm and holds barely fewer people than Markley. SQuad, however, is much more recently renovated and a super nice building. It’s at least 7 floors tall and I’m pretty sure more than that. Its basement is full of great study spaces/places to hang. The dining hall is by many standards “the best” because it’s the biggest… personally, I don’t like the South Quad dining hall as much as some people. Its serving area is a strange loop shape, plus it’s a bit dark and low-ceilinged in spots and frequently super busy. That’s a personal preference, though I don’t deny it has the most options and good food. The food everywhere is pretty good for dorm food, not gonna lie. It’s the only dining hall with the “Smoke” station though, which always has good meats. SQuad also has one of the University JavaBlu/Blu Cafes in it. SQuad is well-liked in part due to being very close to the Diag. If you’re a freshman and you’re not an athlete or in the honors college, don’t expect to end up here, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing; I know some people who have adored SQuad, but others have felt that their hall was anti-social because of these groups having a large presence. This is the biggest dorm on Central Campus.
PRO TIP: The SQuad dining hall is the primary dining hall for everyone in SQuad AND West Quad. Those are two of the largest dorms… thus SQuad has both a huge dining hall, and a very busy one at that. In addition to those dorms, a lot of fraternities nearby have members that go there as well as those with classes on the Diag.
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Replies to: The What's What of Dorms

  • GoBlueWolverineGoBlueWolverine 29 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    WEST QUAD: This dorm can hold just over a thousand students. Some athletes live here, but from what I understand it’s not a large proportion. West Quad truly has some beautiful architecture and two large courtyards. It has a lot of detailing reminiscent to the Union (at least as it was before it was closed for renovations)… speaking of, West Quad is physically attached to the Union and immediately across the street from South Quad. Unfortunately, the Union will still be closed next year, but in the future that will be a big plus for upcoming students as the Union has a TON of study spaces, resources, and food options (for purchase). For those who end up in the hall where the Union attaches… unfortunately you may end up with construction noise at times. The rooms are pretty nice in West, having stayed in one briefly. Overall, not a place to complain about.
    PRO TIP: If you’re living in West Quad, your nearest dining hall is in SQuad!
    EAST QUAD: Full disclosure, I’m biased toward East Quad… it was my freshman year dorm and I ADORED it! It’s also the orientation dorm. East Quad is right across the street from Ross and is also very close to the Diag. Like SQuad, it is very recently renovated. If you look on it with a bird’s eye, the dorm is shaped like a hydroxide ion: It’s an O and an H with a bar in the middle. Hinsdale, Tyler, Greene, and Prescott are on the O while Center is in the middle and Hayden, Strauss, Cooley, and Anderson make up the H. There are 3 floors to the O side (with the exception of Tyler and Greene, which are 4 floors… you have to take the stairs to get to the fourth floor from the third floor of these halls) and 4 floors on the H side. Additionally, there is a partial floor on the H side in the Basement, which overlooks the Garden, has its own doors, and is in the same room as most of the laundry machines in the building. The O is shaped like an O due to a courtyard in the middle of it, and the H has a garden on one side with a large tree on the other which causes its shape. Generally, during the year the O side is mostly made up of Residential College (RC) students and the H side is mostly made up of non-RC students. Due to the RC, East Quad has a few unique things: the Keene Theatre, classrooms that can be used by residents once classes are over with, and, while not entirely unique for this, East has a full dining hall in large part due to the RC’s presence. It’s not as big as SQuad, but it has a very bright, homey vibe. That said, it can be super crowded right at noon. Also, East is the only dorm where every single room has personalized AC. East has a lot of freshmen, the RC, and a lot of athletes. All dorms below East Quad hold a max of under 600 students, making East the last fairly large dorm.
    PRO TIP: This is the ONLY dorm to that sells Gelato at its café! Blu Café (previously JavaBlu) has all sorts of yummy, fun flavors available.
    BAITS II: Baits is an interesting dorm on North Campus. Unlike almost all the dorms on campus, except for Oxford and Northwood, the different halls of baits are actually different buildings. Baits has a different amenities in the different houses of Baits, and students can walk to the different buildings to access them. The buildings are not far apart. Generally, Baits is suite style with either two rooms housing two people each sandwiching a shared bathroom or a living room that stems off into a bathroom, a shared bedroom, and a single bedroom. Baits II tends to be a comparatively less social dorm due to this. It sounds super weird, but when you have to leave your room to use the bathroom, shower, etc., you run into people and tend to get to know your hall better. With all the suites, that particular set of interactions doesn’t happen in Baits. That said, if you love nature and like peace and quiet where you sleep, Baits might be your new favorite place. The closest Dining Hall is Bursley, which is either a very short walk or an even shorter bus ride away.
    PRO TIP: On game days and other times where busing is popular, Baits II kids have an advantage in getting to Central because the Blue Busses will pick up at the Baits bus stop first! Baits is also the last top on the way up, just after the Bursley stop.
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  • GoBlueWolverineGoBlueWolverine 29 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    NORTHWOOD III: Northwood is another unique one. Northwood is a north campus dorm with many buildings, like Baits II. I don’t believe a ton of freshmen live there, but there are freshmen that end up in Northwood III. Unlike Baits II, however, Northwood is essentially apartment style. There are typically two bedrooms, a shared living space, and a small kitchen for each set of residents. Similar to Baits, this can make it a little less social, but does provide more personal/shared space.
    ALICE LLOYD: Some residents call it “Palace Lloyd”. Home to the Lloyd Scholars program, a whole bunch of really nice study rooms, and great views of Palmer field, there’s no denying that Alice Lloyd is a nice dorm. While I haven’t heard much about the rooms one way or another, the whole building is very bright and quirky (in a good way). Some freshmen do end up in Alice Lloyd, but it’s not a freshmen only dorm. The closest Dining Hall is MoJo.
    PRO TIP: The study rooms, in my experience, are some of the nicest dorm study rooms around!
    COUZENS: Pronounced like “cousins”, Couzens is next to Alice Lloyd and close to the hospital… which I suppose makes it a good thing that it houses the Health Science Scholars Program (HSSP)! From what I’ve heard, it’s a fairly middle-of-the road dorm with some suites and some other styles of room. I’ve also been told it’s a less social dorm, but not a bad place to be! The closest Dining Hall is MoJo.
    PRO TIP: Couzens is on the edge of Palmer closest to the Diag out of all the Hill Dorms!
    NORTH QUAD: North Quad is one of the sophomore and up only dorms, so no freshmen live here! Consequently, I’ll be pretty brief about North Quad. It’s got like 10 floors, it’s close to the MLB, and is nice. It’s got really good study spaces and a small dining hall. A small number of athletes live here.
    MOSHER-JORDAN: Not gonna lie, MoJo is super nice. It has Victors café, where you can buy small convenience and café items, and a nice two-level dining hall with HUGE glass windows. This is the primary dining hall for the entirety of the Hill. MoJo’s menu tends to get a tad repetitive, even if their cookies are often hailed as the best on campus (I think they underbake them a little bit a lot of the time, even though they’re the same recipe as the other dorms’ cookies). MoJo houses the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and Michigan Research and Discovery Scholars (MRADS). Haven’t heard many complaints.
    PRO TIP: Nobody calls it Mosher-Jordan, just call it MoJo!
    STOCKWELL: Another sophomore and up only dorm, will only briefly cover it. Stockwell is a very pretty dorm with a wonderful mosaic on the back. It has a circle drive up front. The pretty details of Stockwell are probably due to its history: it was originally built to be and used as an all-girls dorm!
    OXFORD: Kind of like Bigfoot, many people have heard of Oxford, but not many have seen it! That said, Oxford is actually a nice little group of buildings that houses all freshmen. It’s technically counted as part of the Hill, but truthfully Oxford is off on its own. South U, the road that ends at the Union on one side, ends at Oxford on the other. Conveniently, Oxford is located on Oxford road. While it isn’t super close to Central, it is definitely walkable and has the Oxford Shuttle bus to take kids down or up multiple times an hour – on the bus it takes like two minutes to get to the UgLi. There’s a nice outdoor basketball court, “patio” area, and a (granted small and somewhat outdated) exercise gym. The rooms are generally fairly large. There are two parking lots. Additionally, Oxford has Twigs, a cute little dining hall that’s not a bad place to eat in one of the Goddard houses. Mostly, it’s Oxford residents and students living in nearby Greek houses that eat there.
    PRO TIP: Whether this is a good or bad thing to you, Oxford is smack dab in the center of a bunch of Greek Life. It’s next to several fraternities and sororities with more on the nearby roads. This means it can get a bit loud on Thursday/Friday/Saturday nights at times, but it also helps keep things lively.
    BETSY BARBOUR/HELEN NEWBERRY: Truthfully, I don’t know much about these dorms. They’re in good locations close to the Diag and are small, all-girl dorms.
    MARTHA COOK: Similar to BB/HN, this is an all-girls dorm and even smaller than the other two. It’s a beautiful building and very much a community. From what I understand, you cannot be placed in Martha Cook unless you request it. This is because there are quite a few rules regarding visitors, where you have to eat, etc. that come with living at Martha Cook, but the girls who choose it tend to love Martha Cook. Yes, there are some rules, but there are also a lot of community bonding events and fun things like tea that are unique to them.
    FLETCHER: Not much to say here. I’ve actually heard a rumor that they were going to close down Fletcher as a dorm soon, but I don’t know how much water that holds. Fletcher legitimately only holds like 75 students and is off by the IM building (so it’s good if you like sports/want to exercise!). That said, the one guy I know who has lived there absolutely loved the community aspect of it since it is so small.
    Hope this assuages some fears! And at the end of the day remember this: most students I know come to love their dorms because of the people they meet and experiences they have there! And even if you don’t… well, it’s just a place to put your stuff. You’re an autonomous adult, if you don’t like your dorm, go hang out with the friends you make at their dorms or find a nice corner in the League to spend your time!
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  • DodosAreDeadDodosAreDead 108 replies4 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Whoa, thank you for this! Very informative. Personally I'm in the RC (go EQ!) so no worries here but I know quite a few people are worried about where they've been placed - hopefully this'll help them.
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  • GoBlueWolverineGoBlueWolverine 29 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited July 15
    No prob @DodosAreDead :)

    Oh, and two things I forgot:
    1.) I kinda covered this with bEast sQuad, but only East has air conditioning in every room. You will probably not have AC, and the first couple weeks WILL be super hot. Pro tip, slightly dampen your sheet and then put it in your minifridge if you have one. It’ll be nice and cool for a while when you take it out. And/or put a bowl of ice in front of a fan and hope for the best!
    2.) Some dorms, like Oxford and Baits (and I think Northwood), or some parts of dorms, like 4th Tyler and Greene in East, do not have elevators to get to them. Consequently, you may use a blue bin to get your stuff to the door and/or as far as you can go with it, but you’ll have to move your stuff up the stairs by hand. Be aware of this and prepared for it. MLead helpers are also not supposed to touch your stuff directly or help you unloft/loft furniture due to liability reasons in case something breaks, though if you specifically give permission they may help you carry things/move furniture if they’re comfortable with it. Also, you’re not supposed to tip MLead helpers, they’re getting compensated with early move in and leadership training and meals, though most people will probably accept it (because who wouldn’t) if you offer it to them.

    >> DO MLEAD! SIGN UP FOR IT! << I’m an upperclassman and a half dozen or so of my super close or good friends that I still have to this day I met through MLead. I really only signed up for the early move in, but I wouldn’t take that back for the world now with all the early support and friendship I got from my MLead community. Seriously, do it if you can!
    edited July 15
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  • brantlybrantly 3875 replies67 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    No prob @DodosAreDead :)

    Oh, and two things I forgot:
    1.) I kinda covered this with bEast sQuad, but only East has air conditioning in every room.
    West Quad is fully air conditioned.

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  • sushirittosushiritto 3689 replies9 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    That is correct. West Quad is the best quad they say. :wink:
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3707 replies16 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yep, My son was in West Quad his first year.
    Very nice. Like a hotel. His room had air-conditioning and it worked great. Also it's a great location. 10 minutes if that to classes. Just had to walk across the street for food. Many say South Quad has the best food but honestly he seems happy with the food overall at Michigan.
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  • GoBlueWolverineGoBlueWolverine 29 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks for the updates :) Although I (long story short) lived in West for a few weeks and did not have AC. I do believe most of West's rooms have AC but the one I was staying in did not. East, from what I've been told by housing people, is the only one where every room has it ^^
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