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Written by Kirk Greenwood
Of Dartmouth’s residential clusters, the Choates and the River are uniformly regarded as the least desirable. That being said, first-year students who find themselves in these unfortunate locations often report that the bonding experience of single-class housing makes up for the cramped, somewhat dingy quarters. According to its residents, the Choates’ major redeeming factor is its proximity to Frat Row—certainly, a mixed blessing in the eyes of many parents. East Wheelock offers what are arguably the most refined living conditions on campus, though its residents have garnered a reputation for their curmudgeonly ways and early bedtimes. The Hitchcock & Fahey-McLane cluster of dorms offers an enticing combination of features including a prime location straddling Tuck Mall near the center of campus and gorgeous, well-built interior spaces complete with world-class amenities. Dartmouth is improving and refurbishing old residence halls and constructing new ones all the time.
Dartmouth’s sense of community is strengthened by the fact that almost all of its students live on campus in dorms or Greek houses. Considering the spaciousness of most dorm rooms and the sheer variety of living arrangements available to first-year and upperclass students alike, this is hardly surprising. While only first-year students and sophomores are guaranteed housing by the College, most upperclass students manage to secure comfortable living spaces for themselves, since they get first dibs during room draw, Dartmouth’s housing lottery system.
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