A window inside life at Augustana College

The inside scoop of deciding on where to live freshmen year!

I get a lot of questions from incoming freshmen on where to live for their first year here at Augustana, and it is hard to say because not everyone enjoys the same things.

There are a TON of factors that determine where you should live and I will try my best to get them all, but I know I will probably forget something, and also remember this is my personal opinion, so others may disagree. I will, however, try to have as little bias as possible when I explain how I view each dorm.

The factors:

  • Size (Room and Building): Everyone, I imagine, would love to have a big room, but sometimes not everyone would like to live in a big building, while others would. Small dorms don’t give you a chance to meet as many people, but they are quieter and will have less instances of people running around and the occasional fire alarm (More people = more of a chance that will happen)
  • Distance from Class: It’s quite nice to only have to roll out of bad and take a 2 minute walk, compared to further dorms, where the walk is closer to 10 minutes (Especially when you are not a morning person, or your alarm “doesn’t” go off.
  • Distance From Food: It’s quite convenient to not even leave your building to get food, compared to possibly hiking through inches of snow just to get a sandwich.
  • C-Store Access: It’s nice to have all the snacks you want just down the hall, but with easy access, its not hard to get carried away, and then you realize there is 2 weeks left in the term and you only have 2 points to left.
  • Laundry Access: Carrying loads of laundry up and down stairs, is not very convenient, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to do ALL of your laundry at once.
  • Community feeling: Some people like to feel like everyone is friends, while others would rather stick on their own.

So now, lets take a look at the 5 dorm building that Augustana Offers, and break each one down. When comparing, they all have pro’s and con’s, it all comes down to what factors you weigh more heavily than others.

Andreen- It’s is a nice cozy 4-story building of about 213 students on lower campus, when you walk in there is a huge lounge area with couches and downstairs there is more couches, a kitchen, recreational activities and a big television.

  1. Size: Andreen does probably have smaller rooms than all of the other dorms, but the building is fairly large and has a very “home” like feeling where students get very acquainted with each other.
  2. Distance from class: Andreen is pretty close to campus and that comes in handy for those days that you can’t quite get ready as fast as you would like to.
  3. Distance from food: The main place where Andreen Residents get their food is in the College Center, it is not extremely close, but it is only a 3 to 5 minute walk, the biggest downfall would be the large set of stairs to get from campus to Andreen, but let’s face it there are stairs EVERYWHERE and your legs will be looking nice by the time your first year is over.
  4. C-Store Access: The closest C-Store is in Swanson, which is only open during the week. It’s probably the perfect distance, since its only a walk across the parking lot to Swanson, so you can get there easily when you want to, but you won’t just happen to grab something walking by and waste points.
  5. Laundry Access: The laundry room in Andreen is in the basement, which can be quite a walk since it does not come with an elavator, but with all the laundry in one room, you can put all 4 loads in at once, which is nice since college students are pretty busy and its faster, and we all can say that we will do laundry once a week, but that just about never happens.
  6. Community Feeling: Andreen is the most “home” like on campus and that will be good for some, but some people are put off by the close-knit community that they have.
  7. Air-Conditioning: Sorry, but your just going to have to sweat for a few weeks at the start and end of the year. My recommendation: Fans (and notice that is plural!)
  8. Recreational Distance: It is not really close to either Carver or PepsiCo, but if your going to work out, you probably shouldn’t be complaining about walking.
  9. Who lives here: Freshmen, with some juniors living in the TLA’s

Erickson- It’s a nice building on upper campus across from Westerlin, it houses around 250 students and has a large lounge in the entryway and huge basement with a kitchen and couches.

  1. Size: Erickson is considered one of the larger dorm’s on campus, in respect tot room size and building size. It’s rooms are similar to Westerlin, but is considered to be more calm since it doesn’t have as many people and is mostly sophomore students.
  2. Distance from class: Erickson is the farthest building from campus, but it is nice to get away sometimes.
  3. Distance from food: The main place where Erickson Residents get their food is in Westerlin, it is not as convenient as having the cafeteria in the building, but it is only a very short walk across the upper quad.
  4. C-Store Access: The closest C-Store is in Westerlin, which is open during the week and on weekends. It’s probably the perfect distance as well, since its only a walk across the upper campus quad, so you can get there easily when you want to, but you won’t just happen to grab something walking by and waste points, although you will pass it to and from the cafeteria and going to and from classes.
  5. Laundry Access: Like all of the other buildings except Andreen, the laundry facilities are on each floor.
  6. Community Feeling: Erickson is not as “home” like as Andreen but is in the middle of the scale, and it is pretty close-knit, but that is probably since it is mostly sophomore students that already know each other.
  7. Air-Conditioning: YES! They do have air, which is convenient, the only downside is when it starts to get cold at night and hot at day, the air all comes out of a big vent, so it can get quite chilly at night during that overlap period.
  8. Recreational Distance: It is pretty far from Carver, but it is only a short walk to PepsiCo which is where most students work out, and most intramural events occur.
  9. Who lives here: Freshmen and Sophomores, more sophomores than freshmen

Seminary- A smaller building on campus that houses students in double rooms with 3 people each, 2 floors of about 80 students.

  1. Size: The rooms are pretty big, there are 2 decent sized rooms with a door in-between, so most students set-up a bed-room and living room, there is a definite advantage to that when a roommate stays up late doing homework with the lights on. Seminary is set-up for triples though, so although it is larger, there are more people. The building itself is the smallest with only about 80 students on the 2nd and 3rd floors, with the admissions and financial aid offices on the ground floor.
  2. Distance from class: SUPER Close! Basically you are set-up right in the center of campus and never have to walk too far to class.
  3. Distance from food: The main place where Seminary Residents get their food is in the College Center, it is pretty cloe, but it is only a minute or two walk, but the majority of the walk will be the stairs that separate the two buildings.
  4. C-Store Access: The closest C-Store is in Swanson, which is only open during the week. It’s not very convenient, and you have to cut through Andreen to get there, but if you want to save your points, it’s not so bad.
  5. Laundry Access: The laundry room is on each floor with 2 washers and 2 dryers each.
  6. Community Feeling: Seminary also has a close-knit community since there is only 80 students, but it may be hard to meet people that could be your potential best friend with a limited amount of options.
  7. Air-Conditioning: Just like Andreen, it also does not include air conditioning, but like I said earlier it doesn’t get too crazy hot as long as you keep your windows open and fans going.
  8. Recreational Distance: Carver is not too far of a walk, but PepsiCo is the farthest building from Seminary, so plan on walking a lot if you want to work out a lot.
  9. Who lives here: Freshmen ONLY!

Swanson- The newest dorm building on campus that comes with “Suite Style” bathrooms that come between 2 rooms. Also, just because it’s private, doesn’t mean you clean it. A maid will come once a week to clean it, but it will come at a 15% more cost to live here.

  1. Size: Swanson does have pretty large rooms, set up suite style so that in a way you will have 3 other roommates, but you only live with one. The building is split in half between freshmen and junior students so it’s size is more comparable to Seminary than anywhere else.
  2. Distance from class: Swanson is a medium distance from class, you can either cut through Andreen or go down the bridge, but it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to get to class.
  3. Distance from food: Swanson is the farthest building from food, it will probably take around 5 minutes to get there.
  4. C-Store Access: There is a C-Store on the second floor, which is convenient to get snacks or a sandwich if you don’t want to walk all the way to the College Center.
  5. Laundry Access: Laundry rooms are on each floor in Swanson, which is nice.
  6. Community Feeling: Swanson is known to be not very social, but I have heard that it has changed a little over this past year. Although suite mates will be of the same gender, since there is no community bathroom, your neighbor may be of a different gender.
  7. Air-Conditioning: Swanson, like Erickson, does include Air conditioning, but will come with similar consequences of possibly getting too cold.
  8. Recreational Distance: It is not really close to either Carver or PepsiCo either, but welcome to Augustana, you have no choice but to walk…. A LOT.
  9. Who lives here: Freshmen, with  juniors living in the TLA’s

Westerlin- The largest dorm on campus, housing about 350 students is located on upper campus across from PepsiCo Rec Center

  1. Size: Westerlin has pretty good sized rooms in a larger building on campus. It does have a large lounge, as well as a TV lounge.
  2. Distance from class: Westerlin, being on upper campus, is pretty far from classes, so it might not be too close, but it does have it’s perks that make up for the walking.
  3. Distance from food: Just a short walk down the hall will get you to the Westerlin Cafeteria that many students eat at, it is quite convenient to have most things all in one building.
  4. C-Store Access: The C-Store is right across from the cafeteria, so it also is close, but beware to not run out of points!
  5. Laundry Access: The laundry rooms are located on each floor with 2 washers and 2 dryers each.
  6. Community Feeling: Westerlin is definitely a social dorm, there are ALWAYS people up and around somewhere in the building. It is nice to get to know people quickly, because everyone is so friendly, but occasionally you may get people running around screaming, but that can and does happen in most dorms at every school.
  7. Air-Conditioning: Westerlin does not come with air conditioning, so yet again FANS FANS FANS
  8. Recreational Distance: Although Carver is far, PepsiCo is only a few steps out the front door, so if it’s cold out and you don’t want to layer up to go work out, it’s really easy to run to PepsiCo in a few seconds.
  9. Who lives here: Freshmen and sophomores, probably evenly split, maybe a few more freshmen

So! This is my take on the dorms here at Augie. I probably missed some things, but don’t be afraid to comment and ask for anything else of some clarification. Also, if you want some help picking your choices out, I’d be glad to help!


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