Hey, 2015, we know you exist! And we know that you know that your housing deadline is May 1. You’re freaking out, wondering if you want a roommate, wondering if a single will cut you off from friends, wondering if the LLC is even a thing. Enter Bwog’s Freshpeople Housing Review. Here we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of your big decision.

Current students, whether you’re lovers of the LLC, fiercely Furnaldian, confidently Carmanited, or jovially John Jay, weigh in in the comments! And answer questions! Because we’re a community!

Carman Hall is notoriously—and diplomatically, for parents—sold on URC tours as, “The Social Dorm.” Carman parties, held in the fairly spacious doubles, are for some a first-year—or first week (what up NSOP!?)—weekend staple. It’s true: it does get loud Thursday through Saturday, and, on some weekend nights, the smell of vodka and perfume in the elevators is eye-watering. Nor is it uncommon to catch the occasional whiff of…other substances. Oh, and the closet doors make great beer pong tables. But Carman isn’t all about the partying, and there’s plenty to do there if that’s not your scene. On weeknights, the spacious hallways are great spaces for impromptu study groups, and the large doubles are perfect for plenty of other things that don’t involve gettin’ schwasty.

The layout of the building is simple: each floor is composed of about 15 “suites.” These are pairs of doubles ranging in size from 203 sq. ft. to 233 sq. ft., adjoining a private bathroom which is cleaned weekly. The doubles are big enough that intrepid residents do have some freedom to make the most of their space, and should residents decide to bunk the beds (perenially controversial,) the possibilities are near endless. Drum sets, tables, couches, bikes, and (illicit) cookware are all fairly common. However, the size of the rooms leads to a less lounge-centric social experience.

Depending on who you talk to, Carman is either gross or awesome. On the weekends it’s more often loud than quiet, but the basement lounge is always a silent study space. The double-double configurations can lead to some fast friends; they can also rarely lead to transfer requests. Carman is what you (and your floor!) make of it.

Just the Facts:

  • Nearby places: The closest dorm to both Butler and Lerner! It’s also near the 1 train and Broadway things.
  • Bathrooms:The legendary ratio of four people to one bathroom.
  • AC/Heating: Each double has an AC/heater unit totally at your command!
  • Kitchen/Lounge: Every floor has a smallish TV and a few couches; the basement lounge is more spacious. What sucks is the sole grimy “kitchen” in the basement.
  • Laundry: One large laundry room in the basement with 11 washers and 10 dryers.
  • Computers/Printers: One computer lab on the ground floor with two large NINJa printers and ten standard Dells.
  • Intra-transportation: Two lightning-quick elevators, plus one slow-but-steady freight elevator.
  • Wi-Fi: In the basement lounge; only Ethernet for the rooms.

Resident Opinions:

  • “The 4:1 bathroom ratio is amazing, and the “dead floor” thing is an anomaly. There were always parties on our floor each weekend, and I still hang out with kids from my floor. A bunch of them are actually on a Ruggles floor next year (two suites, one floor), and I know of a handful of Carman floors that still remain good friends.”
  • “Last night I went back to Carman and met the people who live in my old room! Now they know why there are 2 different types of tile in the bathroom. Institutional memory…it’s real.”
  • “I really wanted a roommate, so I went for Carman, and it worked out fine. We weren’t best friends, but we were pretty compatible as roommates. Plus, I think it’s a pretty worthwhile experience to learn how to live with another person, especially if you’ve had your own room your whole life. Plus, I know plenty of other people who are now best friends with their roommates, so in that sense, the Carman experience can be really great.”
  • “My floor wasn’t as social as the stereotypical Carman floor, but I made my best friends in a suite two doors down, and we really enjoyed having big rooms to hang out in.”

Photos by Elyse DeWitt and Allen Johnson