First Year Review on First Year Housing

Sidney Belleroche


Vol. 52/ Issue 10

Spring is well and truly underway. The flowers are blooming, the rain is pouring, and Ursinus’ Residence Life has sent many emails reminding everyone that the oft-stressful housing selection process is here again. As a freshman here at Ursinus, I did not have to worry about housing before coming here (though other pre-arrival logistics more than balanced it out). First-year students are assigned typically to BPS (consisting of Beardwood, Paisley, and Stauffer) or BWC (Brodbeck, Wilson, and Curtis), and I have lived in Beardwood. Since my time in the first-year dorms is ending, I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the dorms, mainly about the physical components. After all, as Assistant Director of Residence Life Rose Roberts puts it, “Community living is stressful!”

I want to give a special mention to the cleaning staff at BPS. They work tirelessly but still spare effort to smile at the residents. They do excellent work and should get more recognition. Kudos to you all!The rooms here are serviceable. I do not have any issues with the layout. The single I live in is comfortable, albeit a bit small. As you might expect from a building opened in 1957, the interior shows some wear. For example, the walls in my room have chipped and the paint is fading in some areas. Additionally, the ceiling is cracking quite a bit in several places. A fresh coat of paint in the halls (similar to the recent painting of the middle wall in Paisley) might hide some aging. As for doubles and triples, there are more variables. While most are in a similar size range, rooms may feel smaller or larger depending on location and one’s roommates. For example, suites or connected dorms with a bathroom appear more spacious due to their isolation, despite not necessarily being larger. 

My biggest disappointment is the common rooms, especially Beardwood’s. They all could use a considerable facelift. The air hockey and foosball tables are missing pieces and are antiquated to begin with. The furniture shows extreme signs of wear and especially tear. The furniture also has stains; I prefer not to speculate about the origins. Additionally, the BWC common rooms are practically non-existent, which doesn’t help with community building. Overall, the place meant to be a gathering place for students is largely ignored by most. 

The men’s communal bathrooms, I’ve found, were prone to forming large puddles. Additionally, in the warmer months there were flies that have flown into me more than a few times. Despite the somewhat critical tone of this piece, BPS isn’t awful. The laundry room is great, the front lawn is inviting, and the facilities function smoothly. Finally, I would be remiss not to mention the vandalism incident earlier in the year. Though the situation was handled, no college, Ursinus included, is immune to the inappropriate actions of others.

To gain insight on the BWC experience, here are two reviews from current residents:


Kelsey Lyons ’27 – BWC, Single Room: 

Pro: I enjoyed living in the first-year dorm because coexisting with strangers does build a sense of community. You see the same people routinely, and you see them doing the same things you do–laundry, cooking, socializing, etc.–and it all feels very human. 

Con: That being said, I think the maintenance of the communal spaces is a problem. The bathrooms don’t appear clean, and things stay broken longer than they should. Residents also neglect to do their part, leaving the halls dirty or littered with trash they could have put away. 


Alexandria Nevison ’27 – BWC, Triple Room:

Pro: BWC has really great staff, and the other residents are alright. I like where the building is because it is close to everything. 

Con: The building needs a new kitchen, and the laundry room needs some work too. It would be nice to have the restrooms updated as well.