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Sunday February 5th

Editorial: The ultimate guide to first-year dorms

<p>A bench sits outside of Ehringhaus Residence Hall on Sunday, June 7, 2020.</p>
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A bench sits outside of Ehringhaus Residence Hall on Sunday, June 7, 2020.

It’s that time of year again. Incoming first-years are beginning the daunting room selection process and must decide which dorm they will call home. 

The process is confusing, and new students are given very little guidance on how to make their selection. This is especially true for those who have never been to campus or had an opportunity to tour the dorms. 

To help incoming Tar Heels, the Editorial Board has put together the ultimate guide to first-year on-campus living:

North vs. South Campus

When UNC students think of the “freshman experience,” they often think of living on South Campus and the dreaded 20-minute walk from their dorm to classes.

Many people say that the long walk is a right of passage, while some may say it's helped them avoid the “freshman 15." Others say the walk is just an inconvenience. 

Incoming students may think their only choice is to live on South Campus, but there are some North Campus dorms available to first years. North Campus is much closer to classes, the Pit and overall heart of UNC. It is also closer to Franklin Sreet, but keep in mind that you might be surrounded by more upperclassmen than fellow first-years.

Craige – South Campus

Also known as “Crusty Craige”, this dorm gets mixed reviews. Craige is nestled into a grove of trees with hammock space, which provides more serene outdoor study and relaxing spaces. 

Towering six floors, Craige is the smallest of the first-year high rises and houses more than 600 residents. Rooms are suite-style, with double and single options, although most first-years live in doubles due to availability.

If video games are your thing, the Craige Gaming Arena is a new addition to the dorm located on the ground level. This building is also just up the road to the Dean Dome. 

Hinton James – South Campus

“HoJo”  is the largest dorm on campus with ten floors. It’s incredibly lively and former residents attest that it is a great place to make friends. One downside of this is that the dorm can get pretty loud. 

There are just under 1,000 students living at Hinton James. Rooms are suite-style with double and single options.

Another benefit of living in HoJo is that the building houses one of UNC's package centers, meaning you don’t have to walk far to get packages or letter mail.

Ehringhaus – South Campus

“E-Haus” is a great place to live if you prefer a smaller building that is still surrounded by lots of people. Ehringhaus houses 640 students in suite-style doubles and singles, according to Carolina Housing's website. 

Many people choose to live here because they get a view of Boshamer Stadium's baseball field. Despite being on South Campus, Ehringhaus is the closest to main campus. It is also the closest to Chase Dining Hall, Rams Market and Rams Head Recreation Center. 

Koury – South Campus

Koury is located right next to Ehringhaus and is an internal suite-style, meaning you would only share the bathroom with three other residents, whereas you'd probably room with seven other people at other South Campus dorms. 

Unlike the other halls, you can furnish, decorate and leave personal items in the bathroom. This also means that you have to clean your own bathroom and provide your own toilet paper. 

The population of Koury is smaller than its neighbors – only 263 residents.

Cobb – North Campus

Cobb is an Honors first-year residence hall adjacent to Battle Park. Many people rave about how Cobb is similar to a hotel in its cleanliness and overall look. 

However, if you struggle with losing your keys often, Cobb may not be for you. Doors lock automatically behind you, unlike in suite-style options. 

Cobb houses 400 students in hall-style singles, doubles and triples, meaning the entire hall shares a single large bathroom.

Granville – North Campus

Granville Towers is the first apartment complex that UNC had integrated as part of on-campus living. Granville is located on Franklin Street — behind Target — and is a moderate walk from main campus.

Granville has its own dining hall (and, subsequently, its own meal plan for residents) and gym. As a result, this option is more costly than traditional UNC residence halls.

You can apply for different room options, so if you are dying for a single and are willing to pay the money, it’s more likely you will get one at Granville than in a residence hall. If you know that you want to be involved in Greek life, Granville is notorious for being home to those part of sororities and fraternities.

Getting into high-demand dorms like Cobb can be tricky. Keep this in mind as you rank your housing preferences. 

But no matter where you are assigned, living in a residence hall at UNC is a unique experience and a great way to be connected to your campus community.


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