Lafayette is where we all call our “second” home, and our first-year dorms were our first communities on campus. Due to campus closing for the semester, prospective students may have missed the opportunity to visit a Lafayette dorm. We’ve put together some facts and memories from our first year living experience, so incoming Leopards can know what to expect!
Conway Hall is a mixed-gender dorm that houses about 30 first-year students. It used to be a fraternity house, so that’s why it’s so small. I loved living in Conway because since it was such a small group of students, we all got to know each other. There were mostly doubles, and one triple on each floor. My room was large because it was on the corner, so I had plenty of room for all the stuff I had overpacked from home. The people in Conway might not all still be best friends, but we have a bond that will last for the rest of college. I loved living in Conway my first year because it gave me a great group of people to form relationships with, and it always felt like I was coming home at the end of the day. It’s a bit far from the main part of campus, but very close to Marquis Hall and Simon’s.
Easton Hall is a mixed-gender dorm, where the ground floor is home to about 15 first-year female students. The ground floor is a mixture of doubles, triples, and quads, and also has the building’s kitchen, common area, and laundry room. Upstairs houses upperclassmen in singles and doubles. While Easton is one of the smaller dorms that first-year students live in, it has allowed my roommate and me to grow close with everyone on our floor! I live in a double, and while our room wasn’t huge, we used a non-traditional set up to make it feel more spacious. It also had a huge closet, which gave us a ton of storage. We had a view of downtown Easton from our windows, and while the building doesn’t have central air, all of the rooms on the ground floor have their own AC units. It was convenient living on the same floor as the kitchen and laundry room, and I spent a lot of time hanging out with friends and doing homework in the common room. Easton is generally a very quiet building, and I loved coming back to my own quiet space after a night out. The building is close to Marquis Hall, so I always got breakfast there because it was so convenient! Easton also neighbors Ruef Hall and South College, so it’s easy to hang out with friends in any of our dorms. I loved living in Easton my first year, and since it was a smaller community, I really got to grow close with all of my neighbors.
Gates Hall is a mixed-gender dorm with a top floor for upperclassmen singles. It is located right behind the quad, and is right next to Farinon (home to Upper, Lower, the school store, and the post office), and is right near a number of off-campus restaurants and coffee shops, and most importantly, Wawa! The best feature is definitely the location, as you are close to everything. The rooms are small, but having a good room arrangement can make the rooms feel spacious. My roommate and I lofted our beds and put our desks underneath our beds, which gave us room to get a couch.
I loved living in Kamine. Despite what you may hear, I couldn’t be more grateful for where I lived.
Kamine is a three-story, mixed-gender first-year dorm located on the southwest end of campus. It houses approximately 85 students, excluding upperclassman RAs. It is encircled by the Fishers, Ruben and Conway, is across the street from Sullivan Parking deck, and it houses Simon’s Cafe on the bottom floor. Each floor has a kitchen and a common room with a television. The second and third floors each have an additional common room. The rooms are pretty sizable, and have one big window. Since it is a bit further from the quad and surrounded by primarily upperclassmen dorms, Kamine starts to feel more like a house than just a dorm. This was really nice when adjusting to college or even after a long day. I’m now a junior, and some of my best friends are still the people I met in the common room of Kamine.
Marquis hall is an all-female, first-year residence hall at the heart of campus. It neighbors South College, Ruef Hall, and Easton Hall. It is home to approximately 55 residents and is located above what some might say is the best dining hall on campus. Because of it’s small size, Marquis is often on the quieter side, making it easy to get rest during your busy college days. The best feature about Marquis is probably the walk-in closets that come with every room!
McKeen Hall is a mixed-gender dorm, separated by floor. Both first-years and upperclassmen live in this dorm. Each floor has one bathroom and communal showers. There are two common rooms: one on the first floor, and one on the third. Laundry facilities are on the ground floor. McKeen is known for its convenient location, right behind the Farinon Student Center and across from some College Hill coffee shops! During my freshman year, I lived on the third floor of McKeen with a bunch of other freshman girls. My room was average-sized, with a shared closet, two desks, two beds, and two windows. Because so many people live in this building, it is super easy to make friends! The only downside of McKeen is its thin walls; noise travels pretty easily throughout the building. Aside from this, I could not have asked for a better dorm building freshman year!
Ruef Hall is a mixed-gender dorm separated by floors, located behind South College and beside Keefe Hall and Easton Hall. It is a Tier-1 building only available to first-year students. The laundry facilities are located on the ground floor, and each floor has its own bathrooms with showers. Ruef is known for the two walk-in closets in each room that allows for extra storage space. My room was located on the second floor, and I had one roommate. It was an average size room, but the closets were definitely perks. We had two desks, two beds, and one window between our beds. Ruef’s location near Marquis is perfect during the week for easy access to the dining hall. It is a short walk to any other buildings on campus too. A downside of Ruef is that A.C. is only available with a medical excuse so it can get hot in the rooms during fall and spring. Another negative aspect about Ruef is the infamous pit: the opening in the middle of the south stairwell that students sometimes throw garbage down. It can get a little noisy near the pit on weekends, which can be disruptive to students trying to sleep. Other than this, I really enjoyed my time in Ruef and met some of my closest friends there.
South College is one of the best dorms available to first-years. It’s a Tier 2 mixed-gender building with floors divided by class level. First-years reside almost exclusively on the second and third floors and are placed into doubles or triples. When I went random and found out I was placed in a triple, I feared that it would be claustrophobic; however, my roommates and I ended up having a decent amount of personal space. At the ends of each floor, there’s a kitchen and area with couches, tables, and a TV. A bonus is the recently renovated, modern basement, which has a spacious lounge area, separate study rooms, several game tables, and other spaces to do work or socialize. Furthermore, South’s location is unbeatable: you’re never more than a six-minute walk from any academic building, and Skillman Library is sixty seconds away. Marquis Dining Hall—the campus favorite—is right next door too, so it’s easy to grab breakfast before class and convenient for other meals during the week. During the warmer months, I loved working outside at the tables near the main entrance, but my favorite place to be productive was the basement’s study rooms. They are quiet and convenient, especially during the winter months when I didn’t want to leave the warmth of the dorm to study elsewhere. One con of South, however, is the noise level. It’s a very social dorm, and I liked that aspect, but during the school days, it could get a bit annoying. Also, I’m beyond excited to be living in South again next year! If any future freshmen need advice navigating college, you can find me in a basement study room! :)
Watson is a co-ed dorm available to first years. Watson is a Tier 2 building with four floors where freshmen reside on the first and second floors. All first-year students live in doubles and share community bathrooms. Each floor splits gender by wing. Most importantly, Watson Hall is a wellness dorm. Wellness communities at Lafayette provide students a place to live free of substances. I personally applied to live in Wellness my freshman year mainly so I could have a quieter living space. I met my roommate through one of the freshman Facebook groups, and we both found Watson to be just what we were looking for. Watson has two common rooms, one in the basement and one on the second floor. In the basement is also a kitchen and laundry room. Watson’s location is perfect. Located directly next to Rockwell Integrated Science Center, Acopian Engineering Center, and Hugel Building, STEM majors are in heaven. Watson is also about a three to seven-minute walk from all dining halls on campus. Directly in front of Watson Hall is Anderson Courtyard, a large grass patch perfect for laying outside during the warmer months to work or hang out with friends. I absolutely loved living in Watson my freshman year and am still close with friends I made on my floor!
Wonder where your room is located, or how big it is? Check out the link below!