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Dorms: Fluor vs. Birnkrant

AsderfaAsderfa Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
Hey USC,

Since the housing app is up on Feb. 1, I'm trying to figure out whether I'd be more suited at Birnkrant or Fluor. I'm a female planning on living in a double. I'm not sure if it's worth it to sacrifice suite bathrooms and air conditioning for more sociability. So it would be awesome if a current student could answer some questions:


Because each Fluor suite has its own bathroom, do they tend to get dirtier from less frequent maintenance? or are communal bathrooms worse? (i.e. would you put your bare feet down on the floors?)

Are there any major floors at those buildings (like the Cinematic Arts/Business floors found at Parkside), and do the people in the major floors tend to be exclusive, or do they invite other students who live in other buildings to participate in their projects?

How are the gyms and food near each building?

Does one building have more social events than the other?

Is it easy to drop by New/North (or any other building) to make friends and party?

Are the communities at Fluor really isolated by suite/floor or does the whole building get to know each other?

I know there's a preference for scholarship kids at Birnkrant; is there one at Fluor, and does that mean that there are few non-scholarship kids?

How hot and/or humid does it get normally (and for how long) without air conditioning?

Out of all your friendships, what percent would you say you made by living in the same building?


Thanks, fight on :)
Post edited by Asderfa on
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Replies to: Dorms: Fluor vs. Birnkrant

  • camomof3camomof3 Registered User Posts: 846 Member
    It is smart that you are already thinking about housing, since it is first come, first served. You want to get in line as soon as you can, as long as you don't mind the non-refundable small deposit (around $50 last year if I remember). You do NOT need to decide where you want to live when you register after Feb. 1. You can decide that later (maybe after visiting and checking both places out for yourself). You can also find roommates and go through the housing process with them.

    Birnkrant is in an ideal location- close to everything and next to EVK (dining hall). The past two years it has been ONLY T/P scholars and maybe some TO or FSH students. Those without these scholarships or honors programs are not able to live in Birnkrant. It is also right next to New/North for the social thing. Bathrooms are shared floor bathrooms, and are clean-ish. The triples are great- two rooms for 3 people. They go fast because they are in demand.

    It did get very hot in the room, even with multiple fans, and my D wasn't even on a top floor. It doesn't get humid very often in LA, but Aug and September (most of October too) are quiet hot (as May is). It does cool down at night some, but some nights it will be uncomfortable.

    Fluor is next to the big gym and the new eating hall (although it isn't open this year on weekends). Common room is decent size and kitchen is tiny, but useful. It isn't reserved for scholarship kids, but since they can register for housing first (since they are accepted early), some may choose to live here.
  • DadInNebDadInNeb Registered User Posts: 58 Junior Member
    To live in Birkrant, you have to be on scholarship.

    My son enjoys its there. He and his roommate make use of fans in August/September. That's when you really only need AC.

    Next door to the cafeteria and Leavey Library.

    USC Dad - Fight On!
  • ilovemyego23ilovemyego23 Registered User Posts: 313 Member
    What about Somerville?

    Does anyone have info about this. Its in Fluor
  • CuriousJDG9513CuriousJDG9513 Registered User Posts: 603 Member
    With the housing application opening next week, are only students who were admitted early able to sign up or can students who haven't got an admission decision start on the application early?
  • AsderfaAsderfa Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Thanks so much for replying! Can anyone shed some light on whether or not Birnkrant is still considered as social since it's now scholarship only? I want to be able to study with peace, but I'd also like to hang out with my dormmates often.

    @CuriousJDG9513 I think you can register and start the app, but I'm not sure if you can submit the housing deposit yet. Apparently they delete all the accounts of the IDs that didn't get accepted in May.
  • ThatsphatThatsphat Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    I'm a current student in Birnkrant so ask me anything about it.

    I'd consider it one of the most social dorms. It's really easy to make friends and hang out here. You get to know everyone on your floor really well and the doors are usually always open so you can drop in and out of your floormates' rooms and chill. I know people in some other dorms like Pardee or New/North who didn't even know some of their floormates' names. And while everyone in Birnkrant is on scholarships and is definitely studious, most of us party hard also on weekends and always have friends from other dorms over.
  • caligirl67caligirl67 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Hello...just wondering if NMF Presidential Scholars would also be eligible to live in Birnkrant or is it just reserved for those named after being invited to interview....
  • ThatsphatThatsphat Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Yes, NMF Presidential Scholars can live in Birnkrant
  • km1224km1224 Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    Could you describe the programming for Birnkrant? The Explore USC packet made it seem like there were pretty frequent events for Birnkrant residents and I think a retreat--I was wondering if you could provide any insight on the social and intellectual perks.
  • AsderfaAsderfa Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Hi Thatsphat, thanks for the info.
    How diverse would you say the majors are at Birnkrant? I'd like to get to know people from SCA as well as fine arts, engineering, and business people.
    Do Birnkrant rooms have sink options?
    What's the atmosphere like in the common rooms?
    And also, if people ever complain about Birnkrant, what do they complain of?
  • ThatsphatThatsphat Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    While personally I only had a minimal participation in the Birnkrant programs, they are there for the people that want to explore LA with some friends. They involve activities such as eating at various restaurants in LA, going to theaters to watch plays/musicals, watching movies, etc. Space is usually limited for each floor so if you do want to participate, you need to do it quickly. Stan Rosen, the faculty master of Birnkrant, who lives on the first/second floor is really nice and cooperative, so if a student has any ideas for events, he will try to get funding for you. He also has the most extensive movie/TV show collection I have ever seen. Your RAs can vouch for you to get funding also and want to do events for you so get close with your RA.

    There are faculty master dinners every week during which a faculty members talks about an interesting part of his/her expertise/research. Those are usually hit or miss but sometimes they give out free stuff so they may be worth attending sometimes.

    While I heard in past years the retreats were pretty cool, this year, it mainly consisted of a scavenger hunt around the USC campus. It helped us get acclimated to campus better but honestly it was pretty lame. But I do believe moving in two days before everyone else does is extremely beneficial. First of all, it's less hectic since only Birnkrant will be moving in. Second of all, it gives the residents of Birnkrant time to get to know everyone. I remember on the first day, a lot of us just sat around the fountain in front of Leavey getting to know each other. So by the time everyone else moves in, you probably will have a solid set of friends and can branch out even more.
  • km1224km1224 Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    Thanks for the response! What is your opinion on choosing Birnkrant over a thematic floor in a different dorm (like pre-business or outdoors)? Also, do you know how many of the scholarship recipients end up choosing Birnkrant?
  • ThatsphatThatsphat Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    @Asderfa
    no problem glad to help a prospective Trojan

    The majors in Birnkrant are extremely diverse, with residents from nearly every school.
    On my floor there are people doing pre med, engineering, business, journalism, comp sci, gender studies, screenwriting, fine arts, spanish, etc. You name it. There are definitely alot of science and engineering majors but you'll have no problem getting to know people of diverse backgrounds.

    There are no sink options. While those would be nice, they're not really necessary for me at least.

    The common rooms can have varying atmospheres. There is a common room that is referred to as "the fishbowl" (because it is surrounded by glass) on each floor. It's pretty small (about the size of a dorm room), but they're alright for studying during midterm time although people passing by can get distracting. A lot of times on the weekends or late at nights, people just hang out in there too and talk. On the first floor, there is a room with a long table and a lot of chairs that's ideal for group projects or just studying. For some reason it's really hot in there all the time though. And the multipurpose room, has a table where you can study also, but there is also a TV and a couch so a lot times people will be watching TV shows or movies.

    There aren't many complaints of Birnkrant. Or at least I've not heard of many. During the beginning of the fall semester, it got really hot, especially for the higher floors, and there isn't AC but as long as you have a good fan, it shouldn't be too problematic. Also during the fall semester, our elevators had a tendency of taking forever to close and randomly alarming obnoxiously, which was a quite a nuisance but it got better.
  • ilovemyego23ilovemyego23 Registered User Posts: 313 Member
    Somerville Place? Anybody?

    Hello.....Somerville? Its a floor in Fluor? Special housing...Somerville.

    Information about it would be nice. =) Like not "Here is a USC website" like actual people or experience about it. please. =)
  • ThatsphatThatsphat Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    @km1224
    I have no experience with thematic floors so I can't tell you anything about them

    Well, Birnkrant only has scholarship recipients and it can house around 250 people so I guess 250 scholarship recipients chose Birnkrant. I know some scholarship recipients who wanted Birnkrant but didn't get it because they applied too late so make you apply as soon as you know you want to come to USC.
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