Sometime around mid-July the summer before my sister started college, I remember her coming home from work in tears over her newly released housing assignment. At the time, I thought my sister’s reaction was a little over dramatic, but three years later, I now understand that housing is a big deal. If you can understand this, keep reading for 10 questions about Conn housing: answered!
As an incoming first year, your housing assignment can seem like the ultimate make or break factor in the future of your freshman year at Conn. While your dorm definitely does not define your college experience, it is a big part of your life. So whether you end up with a few more roommates than you were anticipating, or you’re the life of every party and somehow get housed in the substance free dorm, there’s a lot that can go wrong when it comes to housing.
Fortunately, while you wait for your housing info to come in, we have the answers to all your biggest questions… including what to do if you’re not thrilled with the news.
1. When do I find out about housing?
Each time another high school friend finds their new roommate on Facebook, your anxiety about your own housing will probably go up. Fortunately, Connecticut College Housing won’t keep you waiting too long. If you haven’t already, within the next month you’ll fill out a brief roommate questionnaire that will ask basic questions about your lifestyle and roommate preferences – mostly things like sleeping, studying, and general social habits. Your housing assignment will probably be released in mid to late July via Camelweb. You’ll get an email with the exact date this information will be available closer to the day itself.
2. Can I switch?
Both my sister and I probably would have had much less dramatic reactions to our own initial housing assignments had we known how easy (and common) room changes are. Included in the email alerting you that your housing information is available online will be information on how to request a room change. It’s honestly as simple as contacting housing, either by email or phone, and letting them know you’d like to be placed on the waiting list for a room change.
Note: When requesting a room change, housing may caution you that your room assignment was based on the questionnaire you filled out, and your new roommate/s may not be as suited to your living preferences if you switch. Don’t let this sway you. My first year, I ultimately ended up in a triple with two other girls who had also had room changes, and we got along perfectly. The questionnaire is a good foundation to have, but it’s definitely not some kind of all-knowing Sorting Hat – you can still end up with great roommates even if you weren’t necessarily “questionnaire compatible.”
3. How many roommates will I have?
As a first-year at Conn, you will live in either a double, triple, or a quad. Quads are the least common, but your odds of a triple are pretty high. Triples and quads sometimes get a bad rap, but having multiple roommates actually has quite a few upsides. For one thing, although room sizes at Conn vary across and even within dorms, a true “forced triple” situation is pretty rare. You can pretty much rest assured that if you are assigned a triple or quad, you will be living in a room designed for that many people, not squeezing into a double with three other students you barely know. Another upside, if you have multiple roommates, you automatically know more people, making it easier to branch out and make friends first semester.
4. Where is my dorm?
All of Conn’s dorms are mixed class year and mixed gender, so you could end up in pretty much any dorm on campus. Conn’s campus is divided into three regions: North, Central, and South. North campus includes all the dorms in “the Plex,” – also home to Conn’s main dining hall. The North campus dorms are Hamilton, Johnson, Lambdin, Morrisson, Park, and Wright. Central campus includes Blackstone, Branford, Burdick, Katherine Blunt (KB), Larrabee, Plant, and Smith. South campus includes the houses located along Temple Green: Windham, Knowlton, Harkness, Freeman and Jane Adams (JA).
5. What’s the deal with Specialty Housing?
Throughout your research or tours of Conn, you’ve probably heard something about specialty housing. Conn’s alternative/specialty housing options include:
- Knowlton: Conn’s foreign language dorm, ideal for language students who want to actively practice and engage with foreign language and culture.
- Blackstone: Conn’s substance free dorm.
- Burdick: Quiet housing.
Although these housing options are typically only available upon request, first-years can be assigned these dorms due to space issues. If you end up getting housed in a specialty dorm that you are really not interested in, feel free to reach out to housing and request a room change, and be sure to mention that you would like to avoid specialty housing if possible.
6. Where are the parties?
As an incoming freshman, this was one of the biggest questions on my mind. On campus, the South dorms – particularly Freeman and JA – are your biggest weekend destinations. However, the biggest parties will be in the off-campus apartments – which you’ll hear referred to as “the Ridge” and “the Winches.” Both apartment groups are just a short(ish) walk across Route 32, and will probably be where you spend the majority of your Saturday nights.
7. Who are my floormates?
As mentioned, with the exception of a few designated single-gender floors, all of Conn’s dorms are mixed gender and class year, so you will most likely have a pretty diverse group of neighbors. This kind of living arrangement gives you a unique opportunity to bond with students of all ages – not to mention a better chance of making friends with someone with a car on campus.
8. What was that about co-ed bathrooms?
Another staple of any Conn tour is some mention of our co-ed – or, more appropriately – “gender inclusive” – bathrooms. While I was a little skeptical at first, the questions I get from family and friends – “Isn’t that gross?” “Don’t you feel awkward?” – just make me laugh now. Honestly, gender inclusive bathrooms are really no big deal, and after the first day or so, you won’t even notice it. By the end of the year, you and your floormates will probably have spent so much time together that seeing each other in your bathrobes is by far the least awkward of your encounters.
9. Who’s my RA?
Technically, you don’t have one. At Conn, they’re called Floor Governors, and there will most likely be one for each floor of your dorm. Together, they – along with your dorm’s head leader, called a Housefellow – will make up your housing team. You will get to know these people pretty early on, as they will be your main group leaders during orientation. Floor Governors are usually Sophomores, Juniors, or Seniors, although some First Years are selected second semester to fill positions left by upperclassmen going abroad, so keep an eye out for emails if that’s an opportunity you might be interested in.
10. Housing for next year?
This is probably a question you’ll be asking yourself later on, but it can’t hurt to start thinking ahead. Housing selection for rising Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors takes place in mid-April – usually the same week as class registration and almost definitely your most stressful week of the year at Conn. The Connecticut College housing selection is based on a lottery system, in which you will be assigned a random lottery number that dictates what day and time you’ll be able to select your room. Sounds kind of stressful, but in the end, we all make out okay. And if not, you can always request a room change.
Waiting for your housing info to come out may be one of the most stressful parts of your summer, but hopefully we’ve answered some questions and relieved some anxiety while you wait. Most importantly, remember that if for some reason things don’t go according to plan, just stay calm and request a room change.