Point/Counterpoint | What is the best dormitory at the UI?
The University of Iowa has 11 residence halls on the east and west sides of campus. Peter Anders and Evan Weidl debate on the best dormitory to live at.
February 28, 2023
At the University of Iowa, a common debate among students is which dorm is the best to live in. Some argue for Peterson Residence Hall, others for Catlett, and some even argue for Mayflower. But the best dorm to live in without question is Burge Residence Hall.
The most obvious reason to argue in favor of Burge is the fact that it has many simple conveniences other dorms on campus lack.
It has the Burge Market Place and Clinton Street Market, which are both conveniently located on the first floor. Even Catlett doesn’t have that convenience.
While Hillcrest Residence Hall has both a dining hall and Hillcrest Market Place, it is located inconveniently across the Burlington Street Bridge and is under construction. But Burge is within walking distance of the buildings across campus where many of the classes are being held, like Phillips Hall and the Pappajohn Business Building.
Burge is also arguably one of the more social dorms on campus, whereas some of the other dorms like Currier and Catlett are more subdued. Every Friday you can go to Burge, and there are usually groups hanging out in the lobby.
The other dorms have their merits, and it seems reasonable why some people would argue they’re better dorms than Burge. Even the allegedly haunted Currier has its upsides, but I would argue that Burge is the best for a variety of reasons.
It has the convenience factor and the party factor, and it is one of the more common dorms students try to get. Hence, Burge room reservations for the fall tend to run out almost immediately.
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The best dormitory on the University of Iowa’s campus is Catlett Residence Hall — and it’s not particularly close.
Catlett is the newest dormitory on campus, which creates many advantages. Being the newest means it is also the cleanest and requires less maintenance. The day-to-day and long-term moods of people can be significantly swayed by the space they live in, and Catlett offers a clean, modern living space, which can have a large impact, even if unrealized.
Catlett is the largest and most populated building on campus. For a freshman who’s trying to make friends and build a social life, being in close proximity to many other students is a huge benefit.
Catlett is also one of only three dormitories with a dining hall. Students living in Catlett have an easier time getting a meal than people who live in any other dorm building besides Hillcrest and Burge. Even though Catlett Market Place is closed on the weekends, the Burge Market Place is a short walk away.
Catlett’s location in town is hard to beat. While it may not be ideal for students who have a lot of classes on the west side, Catlett is a short walk away from the restaurants, bars, and stores on the east side. It is also close to the Iowa Memorial Union, the library, the Recreation Center, and many other popular spots on campus.
The UI dormitories all have their own pros and cons, but with all factors considered, there is little doubt that Catlett Residence Hall is the best dormitory.