Take it from a senior, where you live matters. Do you want to be happy? Then pick a good room. The following is a guide to the Pomona College dorms.Oldenborg: This is the best dorm on campus. While undeniably ugly on the outside, appearances can be deceiving. Huge L-shaped singles with floor-to-ceiling windows, and a dressing room and bathroom with tons of closet space, shared with one other person. The suites are amazing, especially the more secluded north side. Giant private common rooms with an exterior glass window wall and balconies are great for company, and have two more closets for extra storage. All Oldenborg rooms are air-conditioned, and you control both heat and AC from a thermostat in your room. Parking is right next to your dorm, and Oldenborg is not that far from SCC.
Mudd Basement: A TSL letter to the Editor once talked about a persistent rat problem. Need I say more? Ok, I will. Isolated double with tiny windows and a smelly, leaky, ugly old bathroom. At least it’s air-conditioned.
Blaisdell basement: Only if you get the room with the fireplace.
Mudd/Blaisdell: The best walk-in closets on campus, hands down. Architectural detailing, arches, and columns do contribute significantly to, for example, my happiness. Great roof deck for tanning, and the private courtyard is nice too. Room size ranges from decent to big. Somewhat isolating as a sophomore, and if you have a double, not as worthwhile. Proximity to Frank, Oldenborg, and parking are excellent perks, and so is the air-conditioning.
Harwood: A charming oven. Why do these rooms get so hot? Rooms can be really small, but they have a lot of character and come in interesting shapes and sizes. The towers are great, minus the narrow staircases which make it impossible to buy big furniture (e.g., couches)—they’re private, come with suite storage closets, and connect to at least one other tower each, through a hobbit-door passageway. The patios are also awesome. Rooms have glass doors opening onto a patio, and they tend to be bigger than rooms upstairs. Occasional creepy-crawler issues.
Smiley: The oldest dorm west of the Mississippi, and you can tell. “But I get a single!” Not really. “Closet” is more apt. Thin construction means you hear everything, especially if you live next to the bathroom. You share bathrooms with lots of other strangers. Being near SCC won’t make it up for it—Clark V is also near SCC.
Lawry: If you can stand significant construction noise until February, this dorm is amazing. It gets a bad rap; I lived with seven other girls and had to wait for the single shower only three times the entire year. Yes, eight people to a bathroom, but you live with three to seven of your friends, get a big, furnished common room, a wide balcony with great breezes and room for furniture, fridges, and grills, a sizeable single usually with more than one window, and thus great cross breezes, and, if you lived on the third floor like me, 20-foot ceilings that make your room feel huge. The third floor has other perks that you may or may not discover/make use of. “Soundproof” windows marginally helped with noise, and you’ll get the best access to parking once February rolls around.
Walker: These single rooms are decidedly ugly, and the closet doors are huge and get in the way. But if you can get around that, the rooms are big, and you’re on Walker Beach. Of course, that also means you get all the noise from “bands” and volleyball enthusiasts that regularly stake out the area. Unless you’re in a three-person suite, (which is awesome for the kid with the true single at the back), you have to share a dilapidated bathroom with the rest of your hall. On the bright side, there’s a dumbwaiter!
Clark I: Big, pretty rooms with cool layouts, decent closets, and sizeable bathrooms. The downside is they’re walk-thrus. If you get one of the few layouts that work around that problem (read the floor plans carefully), living here is amazing. Great set-up for having people over, and some have balconies and fireplaces.
Clark III/Norton Clark: Recently gutted and redesigned to look like Clark V, these rooms run the gamut in size, feature pottery-barn-esque built-ins, tiling that doesn’t remind you of your third grade classroom, and large bulletin boards. The bathrooms were successfully redone as well. Some unique detailing was preserved. Many hallways remain extremely narrow, however, and unless you are in a friendship suite, you will share a bathroom with a series of hall-mates. The rooms are mostly singles with some doubles. Some fireplaces available.
Clark V: Still the best dorm on North Campus. All singles, you never share a bathroom with more than three other people. Private halls consist of either two medium to large-sized rooms or four. Many suites have balconies, and the best balconies come with the S-suites. Big windows and lots of fireplaces to be had. Built-ins and tiling are the same as Clark III, and baseboards make rooms feel homey.
Other things to consider: Rooms with only one window get hot and the breezes aren’t great. Rooms facing North get a lot less sun. Views of the mountains are really pretty. No AC on North campus. Proximity to Collins.