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Morgan Hall vs. 1940: Which is better for a freshman?

We all know the standard Morgan North and South dorm layout. Typically, there’s an amazing view, two decently large bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a kitchenette, and a living room with a couch and a TV. As someone who lived in 1940 for the first month of their freshman year, before Temple consolidated dorms and moved me and my roommates to Morgan South, I looked at Morgan Hall as being a symbol of complete luxury. For me, 1940 wasn’t bad at all. It has two bedrooms, one bathroom with a toilet and sink, the other with a sink and shower. It definitely didn’t live up to the luxury of Morgan. But, let’s realistically get into the pros and cons of both dorms.

Morgan Pros: 

  1. SPACE! If you’re super serious about doing your schoolwork on time like me, there’s so much more room to spread your stuff out or find a quiet space to do it. While there’s always your bedroom desk, the dorm comes with a large kitchen table. If you’re looking for a comfortable space to sit, there’s always the couch. There’s just so much room in this dorm you’ll never feel like you’re living on top of your roommates.
  2. Bathrooms! If you’re like me and don’t have a roommate, you basically get your own bathroom while your suitemates will share the other. The bathrooms are also a really nice size because they’re being combined with the shower.
  3. Living room area. The dorm has a great living room area with a TV, which is perfect for movie nights with your suitemates or roommates. With Halloween right around the corner, the living room makes it perfect for watching scary movies with your suitemates.

Morgan Cons:

  1. The sense of community. I haven’t lived here for long, but there seems to be no sense of community. The walls by the elevator are practically covered with cute decorations, facts about your RA, and a list of everyone’s birthday month. Once you go past the RA’s dorm, there seem to be very little cute decorations, and it feels more like a hotel. Again, I can’t say whether this is because of the pandemic and most students leaving housing for the refund, but I haven’t seen any other students in the halls.
  2. The brightness. I don’t know if this counts for every dorm in Morgan South, but my view from my window is the 1300 building. Aside from not having a great view, the outside lights from both Morgan South and 1300 are impossible to ignore. Even with my blinds closed, midnight felt like it was seven in the morning. 
  3. No silent study room. While there is an amazingly nice student lounge at the end of the hallway, it doesn’t seem to have much of a silent study aspect.

1940 Pros:

  1. The sense of community. For me, 1940 had a great sense of community. Everyone knew the RA, and all of the halls were decorated with cute pictures. In addition, the students truly wanted to get to know each other because of how small it was. There was even a group chat for those living in 1940 to go get dinner or lunch with each other. 
  2. Silent study room. During my month and two weeks in 1940, the silent study room was my safe haven. Living in a dorm with three other girls can be difficult for schoolwork. But when you’re doing completely online school and taking zoom classes, it becomes impossible to do your homework while listening to your roommates’ chemistry lecture. The desks in the room have dividers for both social distancing and to help you focus on your own work, and it truly is a silent room. As someone who really does complete silence to do their homework, this room really did save my grades.
  3. The shelves and closet space. 1940 gave you a giant dresser with 4-5 shelves for your clothes and gave you an actual closet with doors. While Morgan gives you a ton of space in the room, there are only two extremely small dressers with two drawers. This can be a serious clothes issue if you have a roommate. 

1940 Cons:

  1. The bathrooms. Although it definitely was great having a bathroom in the dorm, they were super small. The shower was very small, and the curtain would be on top of your back at all times. This may not apply to everyone, but the plumbing in my dorm was awful. The toilet needed to be flushed at least twice to actually work, which was super embarrassing because I’m 100% positive everyone on our floor heard the toilet going off at all times.
  2. The common area. The one thing 1940 didn’t have was a common area for you and your suitemates to all hangout. Although we did hang out in each other’s rooms, it would be super awkward to tell your suitemate to get out because you have a 9 am the next day. We did have enough room for both of our mini micro-fridges, but that was really it.  

Personally, I think 1940 is better for freshmen. Overall, it felt like a dorm that freshmen were supposed to live in. Plus, it did have the toilet and shower that freshmen at other schools don’t normally get. While I can definitely see the appeal of Morgan North/South’s spacious apartment-style, there was more of a welcome home aspect to 1940 that I don’t know if you could get at Morgan. While Morgan South has an amazing amount of living space, it doesn’t beat the sense of community 1940 provided.

Julia Merola is a freshman journalism major at Temple University. She’s currently focusing on campus lifestyle articles. In her spare time, you can find her reading, writing poetry, or trying the newest online workout challenge.
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