While each dorm on campus has a unique community within it, it’s no secret each hall has its own quirks, traditions and cultures. Along with these differences comes the tendency to create dorm stereotypes, but in each residence hall, there is more to dorm life than meets the eye.
Colenbrander, known almost exclusively as Coly, is typically seen as the “sports dorm” of the male residence halls. Statistically that may be true, but there is a lot more to life in Coly than just participating in collegiate athletics. Resident director Cody Hughes says life in Coly is “fun, challenging and impactful,” among other things. Some of his favorite memories aren’t necessarily distinct moments but more often just evenings filled with friends.
“I love to play games in my apartment,” he said. “In addition to the fun stuff, it is hard not to think about all the conversations that I have had with my guys in my apartment.”
From game nights to practical jokes to Coly Christmas, friendly competition and genuine connection can be found everywhere in Colenbrander Hall.
Fern Smith is sometimes said by students to be a mellow dorm filled with socially awkward girls who are welcoming and accepting of everyone. Despite the exaggerations of Fern’s social awkwardness, it is true that Fern residents experience a rich dorm community focused on extending a welcome to everyone who sets foot in the building.
“Living in Fern is a ton of fun,” resident assistant Kaitlyn Hassman said. “Some nights it feels like a big old sleepover.”
At any moment, one can find a Fern friend who is eager for a good chat, a study date or a spontaneous adventure. Hassman shares further how her time in Fern has helped her grow while at college.
“I have learned so much by living alongside people who challenge me, encourage me and bring out my best,” she said.
Though it appears calm to outsiders, life in Fern is exciting, goofy and filled with adventures.
Hospers Hall is typically viewed as the wacky boys’ dorm where all the non-athletes live, but in reality, it is a hall that prides itself on creating a place for every resident to be himself. RD Michael Simmelink says Hospers works hard to uphold its pillars of hospitality, humility and respect. Along with these pillars and the dorm’s unique emphasis on community come a great variety of dorm events and traditions. From the Cardboard and Duct Tape Battle to Fruit Smash to The Great Sit, each tradition offers residents a chance to get to know each other more, get out of their comfort zones and have fun. Filled with goofy guys who love to mess around and dive deep into life together, Hospers really is a place for everyone to be completely himself.
North Suites is generally thought of as the preppy boys’ dorm, but it is really filled with great guys who care for each other and work to start new traditions across campus. Things like baseball heckling and North Suites movie nights are now common events for the guys of North to enjoy, and they create a fun type of community for all to participate in. In addition to fun traditions like these, the guys of North can also enjoy a dorm life focused on celebrating differences and bringing people together.
“I love how I am able to see a wide variety of interests and ways of thinking,” said RA Ben Henker.
With such a great variety of people living together, life in North Suites is always new and exciting.
Stegenga Hall – or Steg, as it’s called – is often seen as the closed-off, sports dorm of the female residence halls, but while there is a great number of athletes who live in the building, there is much more than that to life in Steg.
“Each lady is as unique as the next,” RA Makayla Bjork said. “Which makes the community of Steg so exciting because we have such a beautiful mix of people.”
Steg offers its ladies a space to be themselves and grow together, and fun events like Steggy Keggy and Steggy Snow Angels only add to the excitement and wonder that comes with living in Steg. Regardless of what wing you’re on, there are always open doors to be found and good conversations to be had in Steg.
Though each Northwestern residence hall has its own unique type of community and its own set of jokes, traditions and memories, each one offers a place for students to dive into dorm life and be fully known.