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The Carletonian

Rising sophomores begin preparing for room draw

With the recent rising juniors finishing up their room draw, the majority of the rising sophomore class will soon draw their rooms from the remaining dorm halls: Watson, Myers, Goodhue and Musser. 


According to the Office of Residential Life (ResLife), Watson Hall is a traditional residence hall located on the east side of campus. Built from 1966-1967  by architect Minoru Yamasaki, Waston is one of several buildings on campus designed by the architect, the rest respectively being Olin, Goodhue, West Gym, Cowling, and Myers fourth floor. (Yamasaki eventually went on to design the World Trade Center). With the initial project costing $1.35 million, Watson was most recently renovated in 2010, where it remained as the tallest building on campus at seven stories. In  an article published from the admissions office’s website, Defne Arat ’27  calls the rooms “cozy and spacious.” Arat acknowledges that the floor lounges “aren’t amazing” but there are significant advantages to having a large basement and the Japanese Garden in close proximity. Furthermore, Arats notes that “The vibes are impeccable in my opinion though. Also air conditioning is really hard to beat.”


Due to the large number of single rooms, Watson hosts slightly more upperclass students than first-years. Watson is also, per ResLife, a quieter hall compared to the other  halls. However, according to the reviews from the Carleton subreddit, Watson’s thin walls may also undermine the relative quietness of the dorm. Currently, there are only 8 doubles, 6 triples, and zero singles left to draw. 

Constructed between 1962 and 1963 costing $1.49 million, Goodhue Hall is another creation of Yamaski.  Goodhue was further renovated in 1995 and 2003, and the former Goodhue dining hall was converted into the SuperLounge. The lounge now serves as a large common space where students can play ping-pong, pool,foosball, watch TV, or socialize. According to ResLife, Goodhue is a popular choice for both first-year and upper class students due to its proximity to the Rec Center and the Arboretum. Arat also notes that while the location requires quite a bit of walking—especially challenging in winter—the Superlounge and the surrounding nature are highlights. She also mentioned that the rooms tend to be on the darker side, but overall, Goodhue is “good enough.” Currently, there are 39 doubles [JUMP] available to draw in Goodhue. 


Built in 1958 with renovations in 1960 and 1999, Myers Hall is a traditional residence hall composed mostly of doubles with a few singles. Part of the cluster of residence halls surrounding the Mini Bald Spot, Myers is an architectural mirror to Musser Hall. Both buildings were constructed in 1958, but Myers has a unique fourth-floor addition done  in 1961 by Yamasaki, featuring massive windows. Despite recent updates, Myers, like Musser, retains its classic white tile walls. According to ResLife, Myers’ prime location allows easy access to academic buildings. It is  also equidistant from the Recreation Center and Sayles Student Center. ResLife also describes Myers as known for its community feel, with writable tiled-walls on each floor and great views from the fourth-floor. Arat describes living in Myers “like a cannon event,” pointing out the hospital-like corridors but praising the hall’s excellent bathrooms and convenient location near East Dining.She hints, however, that the overall “vibes” might not be as appealing. Currently, there are 20 doubles on Myers available to draw. 

Built in 1958 and renovated in 2009, Musser Hall is the westernmost residence hall at Carleton. According to ResLife, Musser is a traditional-style residence hall predominantly housing first-year students, which helps foster tight-knit communities on each floor. Musser’s location offers both advantages and disadvantages. Situated next to Sayles and the Complex, Musser is conveniently close to several key campus facilities, including Burton Dining Hall and the Sayles-Hill Campus Center, making it easy for residents to access dining and recreational services. Additionally, its proximity to downtown Northfield allows students to enjoy the town’s amenities with just a short walk.


Despite its seeming benefits, Musser has its significant drawbacks. Arat ranks Musser the lowest due to its relative isolation from the main first-year dorm cluster near the Mini Bald Spot. This separation can make Musser feel socially isolated. The hall’s aesthetic and ambiance also receive mixed reviews. Both Musser and Myers are known for their classic white tile walls, which are often compared to those in an old-style hospital. 


However, some find charm in Musser’s dated characteristics. Emerson Herrera ’19, in his review, describes Musser as having the smallest rooms on campus and an older structure, but appreciates its “cabin-y feel.” He also highlights the convenience of the Complex, which houses three other dorms, providing a sense of extended community and easy access to shared facilities. Currently, there are 24 doubles on Musser available to draw. 


When asked to rank the available dorms, Grace Liang ’27 echoes Arat’s high opinion of Watson Hall and says that her top choice is also living in Watson, where she is currently living. “Musser is too far,” Liang said, “We usually study in LDC, so it’s near Waston. But Musser is very far away from everything. My room draw number is in the 300s, so I will be rooming with my  friend, who’s draw number is in the 60s.” 


When asked about Lilac Hill, she added, “We don’t want to live in houses because we don’t know the frequency of custodial services and if bathrooms will be cleaned.”


Jocelyn Chen ’27  isn’t confident that she will get into the dorm hall of her top choice, but expresses her concern for not having any other choice other than Musser and Goodhue. “Musser has a very loud sound of trains, and it feels disruptive,” said Chen, “Musser also generally smells musty. We both prefer Waston and then Myers and neither Goodhue nor Musser.”


“I want to live in watson,” Owen Xu ’27 said, “I want to live in Nourse. But like there’s no way I can get it.”


Sebastian Torres ’27 added, “the person I’ve been trying to room with hasn’t been responding recently. So I’m gonna live under Lyman Lake I think.”


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