A Guide to University of Alabama Dorms

When choosing what dorm to live in, it seemed like my two options were the Presidential suites and traditional Tutwiler, but as I met more people, I learned there were so many dorms I could have chosen from! I asked fellow Her Campus members and my sorority sisters about their dorm experiences.

The traditional dorms are a shared room with another resident of the same gender and a communal bathroom. Suite style dorms are normally four person rooms with each resident having their own bedroom and sharing a bathroom with one other resident. Suites include a kitchenette and common room.

Suite style has its pros—including your own room, three built in roommates and best friends, and a living room to hang out with friends. However, you can be closed off from others since it’s easy to hibernate in your own space. Traditional dorms allow you to meet people in the bathrooms and in the halls, but you have to be okay with sharing a bedroom. 

In general, all the dorms are great, but like everything, they have their own pros and cons.

Blount

  • The set-up: A bedroom shared by two residents with an attached bathroom shared by both residents. Blount is reserved for students in the Blount Scholarship Program.
  • Pros
    • It’s small, so you can get to know everyone.
  • Cons
    • It’s small, so you know everyone.
    • Is it Bl-OW-nt or Blunt?

Burke- Traditional

  • The set-up: A bedroom shared by two residents with a communal bathroom.
  •  Pros
    • Close to Burke Dining (the best dining hall IMO), Greek houses and the Quad
    • A short jog to the rec centerIt’s small, so it’s easy to meet people and get to know everyone in the building.
  • Cons
    • Residents got kicked out in October to make room for those infected with COVID-19.
    • It’s an old building that creaks and has popcorn ceilings.

John England

  • The set-up: A shared bedroom with a bathroom shared between the two residents
  • Pros
    • A good mix between traditional and suite style dorm.
    • Recently renovated
    • It has the John England Market on the first level.
  • Cons
    • No one really knows where it is.

Harris- Traditional

  • The set-up: A bedroom shared by two residents with a communal bathroom.
  • Pros
    • Great location--close to sorority row, the stadium and classrooms on the south end of campus
    • Free washer and dryer
  • Cons
    • There are a lot of things to break.
    • It’s an older building.
    • No elevator

Lakeside- Suite Style

  • The set-up: Your own bedroom, a common room, and a bathroom in the room shared by another roommate.
  • Pros
    • Laidback and quiet
    • The common room seems a little bigger than other suite options
  • Cons
    • The “frat boy” dorm
      • “The boys took down my door decoration from bid day before I even got to see it,” said Julia Coryea, a sophomore at the University of Alabama.

Ridgecrest- Suite Style

  • Ridgecrest South and West are for Honors College students only!
  • The set-up: Your own bedroom, a common room, and a bathroom in the room shared by another roommate.
  • Pros
    • It’s close to the strip, and since it’s in the middle of campus, it’s close to a lot of other on-campus things like Lakeside Dining and The Ferg.
    • The parking is right underneath the dorm and is super easy if it’s raining or if you have groceries.
  • Cons
    • The RAs are strict.
    • It is hard to socialize.
    • The bedrooms are smaller than other suite style dorms.
    • Food trucks don’t stop by, and they don’t have their own market like John England, Paty, Presidential Village or Tutwiler.

Riverside- Suite Style

  • The set-up: Your own bedroom, a common room, and a bathroom in the room shared by another roommate.
  • Pros
    • The RAs are super chill
    • Since it’s close to other dorms, it is easy to see people.
    • There’s a grassy area where people hang out and suntan.
  • Cons
    • Older than other suite options
    • No downstairs security

Paty- Traditional

  • The set-up: A bedroom shared by two residents with a communal bathroom.
  • Pros
    • Close to the Ferg
    • One of the cheapest dorms to live in
    • Recently Renovated (no mold!)
    • Sense of community- easy to make friends
    • Nicest RAs
  • Cons
    • Thin walls- you can hear everyone above, below and next to you.
    • Raising Canes is in the same building which is convenient, but also allows more people into the dorm, which can be a safety concern. People also don’t throw out their trash and Canes can smell up the dorm.

Presidential Village- Suite Style

  • The set-up: Your own bedroom, a common room, and a bathroom in the room shared by another roommate.
  • Pros:
    • Known as the party dorm
  • Cons:
    • Loud AF. I lived on the first floor and I could hear all the floors above me and when people were coming down the stairs.
    • Despite being the party dorm, it can be hard to make friends and meet new people.
    • Kind of far from other parts of campus, but I considered it my daily exercise
    • Hard to find a parking spot that is close to the building

Tutwiler- Traditional

  • The set-up: A bedroom shared by two residents with a communal bathroom.
  • Pros:
    • The location is great-- close to sorority row and Starbucks as well buildings on the south end of campus like Russell, Little Hall and Reese Phifer.
    • It’s easy to meet a lot of girls at once
  • Cons:
    • Old and moldy

In general, you will be happy where you end up since you’ve already made the best choice—coming to the University of Alabama!