Seniors’ Concerns About UC Housing


Paul Turang

Both photos are photo courtesy of Paul Turang. The first photo kept appearing blurry when I would send it to another computer so I am also sending a back up. Sproul Housing and Carnesale Commons at UCLA

Tara Afshar, Journalist

College admittance is grueling enough, but once admitted, students are off into the dizzying abyss of finding a roommate, and the dorms with the best amenities. We have made a comprehensive list for fall 2022 students, to help incoming freshmen navigate their dorm choices for the UC schools. The UC schools, though publicly funded, do not have the same amenities, but some university housing is certainly better than others.

            UCLA generously offers incoming freshmen 3 years of on-campus housing guaranteed. They even have a system planned, where students can swap roommates if they like to change. The Hedrick and Reiber residence halls are popular with freshmen, where you are guaranteed to meet hundreds of students. There are deluxe residence halls, but those are reserved for second and third-year students.

            Berkeley currently has a housing shortage, and they are spread all over campus. Prime choices for freshmen would be residences Unit 1, Unit 2, and Unit 3, as they are located close to classes and off-campus dining choices. Clark Kerr residence hall though far from campus, the rooms are larger and the food is exceptional. Senior Tommy Cianfrani is one of many students who were very concerned about the recent shortages. Cianfrani said “one of my main concerns is about how many people across the US applied to the UCs. From what I’ve heard, this year the UCs have gotten a ton of applications and I question what that means for first-year housing. I’m worried that they could crowd the dorms too much with too many people. The same thing goes for the dining hall, how could they deal with all of the people?”.

            UC Davis only offers 2 years of on-campus housing for its students. At Davis, Segundo residence hall is the prime choice, as it is close to the ARC, dining hall, shopping, and restaurants. One residence to avoid is Tercero, as it is located close to the dairy cows. Leaving your dorm room window open can allow a pungent cow odor to permeate the room. If you want a dorm with a pool, opt for Cuarto, but it is a bit far from classes.

            UCSB currently has the most disastrous housing shortage, forcing some students to live in hotels. If one gets lucky and finds housing, do not hesitate to jump on it. Isla Vista is the coveted spot, and students should consider themselves lucky living in such close proximity to beaches. Recently,  dorm hall construction at UCSB went viral and it left senior Alex Cheng with a few concerns.. Cheng says that “When looking at colleges, specifically the UCs, it was important to me that dorms provided a balance of personal space and peer-to-peer interaction. Recently, safety and ethical concerns have risen regarding UCSB’s Munger Hall. Charles Munger, a 97-year-old Berkshire Hathaway executive, is offering to fund its construction with the stipulation that his proposed design is used: an 11-story, 1.68 million-square-foot structure that would house approximately 4,500 students. This raises many issues as if constructed, this dorm would become the 8th most densely populated neighborhood in the world. Not only do students lack personal space, but there are many other safety concerns: inability for everyone to evacuate in the event of a fire, lack of fresh air, and garbage disposal issues”.

            UC San Diego is another beautiful campus situated in La Jolla, where housing is guaranteed for two years for incoming freshmen. Word has it that John Muir college at UCSD has the most coveted location in close proximity to classes and beaches. Regardless, all dorms are located in picturesque La Jolla.

            UC Santa Cruz has a quirky campus, more isolated than others, and their dorms are theme-based, Word has it that Porter College being artsy, is the prime choice for housing. Students are not allowed cars on campus, and going grocery shopping has its challenges. 

            Housing at UC Irvine can be daunting, as choices are plentiful, and freshmen are not required to live on campus. Mesa Court and Middle Earth are both equally great housing facilities for incoming freshmen. There are also Vista Del Campo, Vista Del Campo Norte, Puerta Del Sol, Camino Del Sol (the most bougie on campus), as well as off-campus housing at UTC apartments. There is absolutely no housing shortage at UC Irvine.

            At UC Merced, the most popular freshmen housing options are Sierra dorms, with a two-bedroom suite and a private bathroom. Places like Northwood Village offer one or two-bedroom apartments with pools and balconies. Students at Merced have probably the most spacious accommodations, compared to any other UC school.

            Class of 2022 has a few months left before the college decisions are released. Much luck to all, and hopefully this comprehensive cheat sheet of dorm accommodations will come in handy.