Earle Hall, Zach Rudoy

Zach Rudoy (freshman-architectural engineering) sits inside the lobby of Earle Hall, a newly built dorm building in East Residence Halls, on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.

With Penn State freshmen split between renovated and traditional dorms, some students said the difference in quality may change the typical Happy Valley experience.

“I think Penn State’s dorms are nice as it is,” Corryn Castello said. “The renovated ones are just way nicer, so it hasn’t really been that much of a challenge.”

Castello (freshman-hospitality management) lives in a traditional hall in Pollock. The problem she found with her hall were the communal bathrooms.

“I would like renovated bathrooms,” Castello said. “They’re not bad how they are, but bathrooms are always better when they’re newer.”

Many students believe that instead of bathrooms being the biggest advantage of renovated dorms, having air conditioning is what makes it so much better.

Roommates Cameron Cummings and Zachary Rudoy spoke highly of their dorm in East Halls.

“The air conditioning and bathrooms are much nicer than what it would be in a traditional,” Cummings (freshman-division of undergraduate studies) said. “In the winter, we’ll be able to control our heat, too.”

Rudoy (freshman-architectural engineering) said living in a renovated hall with air conditioning is a “huge perk.”


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 Other than the bathrooms and air conditioning, some students said the actual layout of renovated dorms positively affects not only their living situation, but their studies and social lives as well.

Castello lives in a traditional dorm but has been in renovated halls while visiting friends. She said she believes the renovated dorms are cleaner.

“I think it’s easier to get stuff done when things look nice,” Castello said. “I think with a cleaner environment, it could motivated people to be more focused.”

While Castello said renovated halls improve students’ studies, Cummings and Rudoy said it improved their social lives.

“I know friends that say they don’t know people on their floor because they’re closed off,” Rudoy said. “I think our hall is a very open atmosphere, so a lot of people are talkative and friendly.”

Cummings and Rudoy said they love entertaining people in their dorm room.

“People like to come here because it’s so much nicer,” Cummings said. “We’ve had people come over for games and stuff just to watch in here. We have room for everyone, and it’s very nice in here. It’s accommodating for however many people you need.”

Even with the differences in dorm life, students are able to transition into college life well. Castello said she found it easy to transition, with the communal bathrooms being a minor inconvenience.

“Living in a dorm is fun,” Rudoy said. “There’s ups and downs. You have to learn to adapt to new things that you might not have done before, but it’s nice that there’s always people around you to hang out with and talk to. There’s always something going on.”

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