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The A&E Staff reviews Pitt's freshman dorm offerings - The Pitt News

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The A&E Staff reviews Pitt’s freshman dorm offerings

By The A&E Staff

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The Pitt News A&E staff reviews all of Pitt’s freshman dorms in the style of a movie, album or video game review.  

Disclaimer: Since none of our staff lived in or was familiar with Forbes Hall, we were not qualified to weigh in.

Litchfield Towers

Grade: B+

With the recent addition of Nordenberg Hall, the once-beloved Litchfield Towers seem to be slipping out of contention for first-choice freshman housing. While Nordy is a brand-new building, Towers still offer a homey living style for Pitt freshmen.

Towers A and B are similar (I lived in B, myself), having a multitude of circular floors, all with double rooms and some with lounges, while Tower C offers single rooms and is the shortest of the three buildings. All three provide students with a comfortable living environment, perfectly fit for making new friends.

The circular hallways may make some dizzy at first, but you’ll quickly get used to it. The rooms, while not lavishly large, are more than enough for a typical college freshman. All come with an adjustable-height bed, a large dresser, a hanger rack and lots of shelf space. When everyone keeps their doors open, it becomes extremely easy to meet new people in Towers. The lucky residents on some of the floors will have a lounge, which provides an extra space for freshman bonding to occur.

The other major appeal of Towers is the lobby. Always bustling with students, Towers lobby is a great resource, making it easy to find out what’s going on at the University, get involved with clubs, meet new people and sometimes bum a slice of pizza on late weekend nights. Below the busy lobby is the quintessential freshman dining experience — Market Central — and Quick Zone.

While the new Nordenberg Hall can seem appealing, Towers is still extremely reliable for freshman students looking to make new friends, have easy access to food and live quite comfortably.

-Andrew Fishman 

Holland Hall

Grade: B

Holland Hall is a two-wing, all-girls residence hall, which may seem like a drawback at first, but ends up being great when you don’t want to impress anyone first thing in the morning.

The rooms are really spacious — possibly more so than any other freshman dorm — and are offered as singles, doubles, triples or quads. Also, you don’t need to bring a microwave thanks to the kitchenettes that occupy each floor, a feature you don’t come by in every freshman dorm.

It’s located in the quad, so you’ll have to walk to Towers for your meals and mail and across the quad to Brackenridge for the gym. Fortunately, the Oakland Bakery and Market — which qualifies as part of the meal plan — is right next door. 

There is no air conditioning in these dorms, so the heat during the first couple months is brutal. There is air conditioning on the 11th floor, which houses the building’s only lounge and laundry room — a huge pain if you live on the lower floors. But the air-conditioned lounge makes for a great way to meet and socialize with girls from other floors, particularly because many of the events planned by the RAs take place there.

The elevators are small and unreliable, particularly on the north side. If you live on the fourth floor or lower, it will be quicker just to walk. Also, the vacuums each side of Holland provides are quite inefficient, so you’d be better off bringing your own.

Additionally, the bathrooms are very open — and have bathtubs — but once you become familiar with the girls on your floor and their schedules, it isn’t so hard to find privacy..

-Britnee Meiser

Nordenberg Hall

Grade: A+

Nordenberg is the newest freshman residence hall, right across the street from the quad, and is by far the most enviable. In addition to all the normal amenities of a dorm, it has two lounges and study rooms per floor, a gym, a music room and a patio.

The dorms are fairly large and come equipped with a refrigerator, microwave and a flat-screen TV. Each room also has an individual thermostat so you can control your room’s temperature.

The floors are co-ed and set up in a U shape with girls on one side and boys on the other. Each side has its own lounge with couches, chairs, a large flat-screen TV and a study room. The bathrooms are very large, private and clean. All the rooms are either doubles or triples — no singles in Nordy.

There is a laundry room on every floor with tables, chairs and another flat-screen TV inside.

Nordenberg does not have its own dining hall, so you’ll have to walk across the street to Market Central, but it does have its own mail center. Nordenberg is also home to the Student Health Center, so you won’t have to walk far if you’re feeling ill.

-Britnee Meiser

Sutherland Hall

Grade: A

Sutherland Hall, the only freshman dorm perched atop Cardiac Hill, is not for the faint of heart. Its east wing houses primarily athletic students, while the west is home to Pitt’s only First-Year Honors Housing Community, and they are essentially treated as two separate dorm buildings with their own security guards. If you feel like you can fit in with either of those groups, and if you have the lower body strength and self-confidence to tolerate the climb — or judgmental stares on the Petersen Events Center escalators or at the conveniently located 10A bus stop just in front of the building — Sutherland can be a very rewarding experience.

Sutherland rooms are almost entirely doubles, but unlike other dorm buildings, they are arranged in an unorthodox suite-style with shared semi-private bathrooms. This makes Sutherland the only freshman dorm currently offered to students with bathrooms that aren’t shared with the entire floor. 

With a computer lab, two gyms, a convenience store, a coffee cart, ample laundry facilities and The Perch — Market Central’s slower-paced, more intimate counterpart — this dorm is decked out, to say the least. The rooms are also slightly larger, more accessible and a lot quieter than those in Towers. Throw in two student lounges and a television on every floor, central heat and air conditioning, and you’ve got the best freshman dorm experience you could ask for. That is, if you don’t mind arriving at your room winded every day.

-Dan Willis

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The A&E Staff reviews Pitt’s freshman dorm offerings