Anisha Vanka
7 min read 12th Grade,School Spotlight

William & Mary Dorms: What They’re Like from a Current Student

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The College of William & Mary is a public research institution located in Williamsburg, the “colonial capital” of Virginia. It’s actually the second-oldest institution of higher learning in America, behind Harvard and has a rich history. It’s known for its rigorous liberal arts and sciences curriculum and although it may not be known for its housing, it’s an important factor to be aware about when choosing a college.

 

My name is Anisha, and I’m a junior at William & Mary majoring in psychology and linguistics. To be completely honest, the dorms at W&M are not my favorite part of the school. In my opinion, the people are, and the first people you meet are your freshman hallmates! I’m still good friends with my freshman roommate, and I think our time together in the dorms really helped us bond. In that way, the dorms are an important part of life at W&M, and even though they’re not stellar, I certainly enjoyed my time living there. 

 

W&M College Dorms: An Overview

 

Freshmen and sophomores are required to live on campus, and upperclassmen at W&M are guaranteed on campus housing if they desire. Most undergraduates do end up living on campus because it makes life more convenient. Everything is within walking distance, like classes, dining halls, other dorms, and the gym. Having a meal plan is also less stressful than having to cook for yourself.

 

Some people do choose to live off campus. Sometimes it just ends up being cheaper, but that depends on where you chose to live. There are some apartments in Williamsburg that may be more expensive, and they tend to be farther away from campus so you would need to have a car or know someone who does.

 

Types of On Campus Housing

 

There are many different types of housing available on campus. W&M has suites, apartments, singles, doubles, and triples. Doubles are the most common. The cost of housing can also change depending on which dorms you chose to live in. 

 

Much of W&M’s campus has been preserved, so some of the dorms are difficult to update. The newer dorms (such as Hardy and Lemon) are more accessible. Older dorms at W&M tend not to have elevators or ramps, so be prepared for lots of stairs!

 

Substance-free housing is also available, but W&M is not a dry campus. This means that alcohol, while prohibited in freshman dorms, is permitted in upperclassmen buildings. 

 

There are also language houses on campus, which you have to apply for. The language houses create an environment for students studying a language to continue to practice outside of class. W&M offers French, German, Spanish, and Italian houses. 

 

If you want to do a deeper dive, you can find more information about individual dorms.

 

Freshman Dorms at W&M

 

All dorms are co-ed but genders are usually separated by floor in freshman dorms. For a typical double dorm room, you can expect two twin beds, two desks, two closets, and two dressers. Freshman dorms usually do not have air conditioning, so bringing a fan is highly recommended. It can get pretty hot and humid in the spring and summer months (Williamsburg is a swamp!). You can choose your roommate or go random. I chose a random assignment, and I don’t regret it at all!  

 

Here’s a table with some more information about all of the freshman dorms:

 

 

Size

Bathrooms

AC

Location

Brown

77

Hall, Suite

No

Almost off-campus; 15 min to student union

Camm

50

Hall

Yes

Center of campus; near student union

Hunt

59

Hall, Suite, Private

Yes

10 min to student union

Lemon

183

Hall, Suite, Private

Yes

Center of campus; near student union

Monroe

142

Hall

No

5 min to student union

Reves

29

Hall

Yes

10 min to student union

Taliaferro

50

Hall

Yes

10 min to student union

Yates

266

Hall

Yes

10 min to student union

Botetourt Complex

Dinwiddie

44

Hall

Common areas only

15 min to student union

Fauquier

88

Hall

Common areas only

15 min to student union

Gooch

92

Hall

Common areas only

15 min to student union

Nicholson

92

Hall

Common areas only

15 min to student union

Spotswood

92

Hall

Common areas only

15 min to student union

Green & Gold Village

Eagle

142

Hall

Basement, 1st floor

10 min to student union

Griffin

180

Hall

Basement, 1st floor

10 min to student union

Lion

106

Hall

Basement, 1st floor

10 min to student union

 

Upperclassmen Dorms at W&M

 

 

Size

Bathrooms

Room-Controlled AC

Location

Barrett

180

Hall

No

5 min to student union

Chandler

149

Suite

Yes

5 min to student union

DuPont

267

Suite

No

15 min to student union

Hardy

183

Hall, Suite

Yes

Center of campus; near student union

Jefferson

188

Hall

No

5 min to student union

Landrum

220

Suite

Yes

5 min to student union

Ludwell

271

Private

Yes

25 min to student union

Old Dominion

123

Hall

No

Center of campus; near student union

One Tribe Place

373

Private

Yes

5 min to student union

Richmond

175

Private

Yes

25 min to student union

Tribe Square

56

Private

Yes

20 min to student union

Bryan Complex

Bryan

98

Hall, Suite

No

Center of campus; near student union

Dawson

52

Hall

No

Center of campus; near student union

Madison

66

Hall

No

Center of campus; near student union

Stith

70

Hall

No

Center of campus; near student union

Randolph Complex

Cabell

60

Private

No

15 min to student union

Giles

72

Hall

No

15 min to student union

Harrison

24

Hall

No

15 min to student union

Nicholas

30

Private

No

15 min to student union

Page

16

Hall

No

15 min to student union

Pleasants

72

Hall

No

15 min to student union

Preston

69

Hall

No

15 min to student union

 

All upperclassmen dorms have AC. Some even have individual room-controlled heating and AC.

 

I want to highlight a couple dorms on this list. Ludwell is an apartment complex that is just off campus. The apartments are either doubles or triples and include bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, dining areas, and full bathrooms. These usually go to seniors, as they are well-furnished apartments and are much closer to campus than any off-campus apartments are. Since they are a bit of a walk, there is a bus route that stops at the complex and takes you to the student union. 

 

One Tribe Place and Richmond are both old motels that W&M turned into dorms. They have large rooms and private bathrooms. The AC and heating can be controlled individually in each room. 

 

Best and Worst Dorms at W&M

 

Most students agree that the two best freshman dorms are Lemon and Camm. Both have AC and they’re both very close to the center of campus, so it’s relatively easy to get to any other part. These are also two of the newer buildings. Lemon is one of the accessible dorms. 

 

For upperclassmen, I would say the best dorms are Hardy, Landrum, or the apartments in Tribe Square. These all are also newer buildings with AC. One point to keep in mind is that Tribe Square is one of the more expensive housing options, because the apartments are relatively new.

 

On the other hand, the worst dorms are probably those in the Green & Gold Village. These buildings don’t have AC and have more bug sightings than any other dorm. They’re older so they just tend to have more issues. But, they are pretty close to a dining hall, the gym, and the library so there are some upsides to living there! 

 

The worst upperclassmen dorms are probably Dupont or Richmond. Dupont is pretty far from the center of campus, and it’s one of the older buildings so there tend to be a lot of renovations underway. Richmond is actually off campus, and it’s a 20 minute walk to campus from this dorm. The rooms are actually really nice, and you even get full-size beds. The reason Richmond is not one of the favorites is simply because it’s so far away.

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Housing Selection at W&M

 

Housing selection for freshmen happens the summer before you move in, while upperclassmen housing selection typically occurs before winter break. There’s a housing portal that students have access to. If you choose to go random, there’s a questionnaire you fill out about your living habits and what you’re looking for in a roommate. This allows Residence Life, our housing department at W&M, to provide you with the best possible match. If you decide not to go random, this portal is where you can submit the name of the person you want to live with.

 

Housing as an upperclassman works through a lottery system. Seniors get first pick, then juniors, and finally sophomores. Everyone is assigned a lottery number which dictates when you get to pick your room. 

 

Since W&M is a Division 1 school, student athletes get priority housing registration. They do not get lottery numbers, and choose before the people who are in the lottery system start picking. People with accommodations are also eligible for priority housing, and they get the first numbers in the lottery.

 

Lastly, W&M offers block housing, which is an option where groups of 8 to 10 people can live in neighboring rooms in pre-designated buildings. If you don’t receive priority registration, block housing can help you get into one of the better dorms. However, there are only a certain number of dorms that do block housing so it can be difficult to get in. 

 

My Dorm Experience at W&M

 

I was happy with my living situation at W&M. Though I live off campus now, I loved living in the dorms because I was surrounded by friends. My freshman year, I lived in Gooch Hall in the Botetourt Complex. It was a typical dorm with a hall bathroom, and my roommate and I got along pretty well. 

 

I chose block housing my sophomore year, which was even more fun because I was living with a group of friends. Our rooms were suite-style. We had two doubles and shared one bathroom. To be honest, I saw more insects than I would have liked, but this is also the case in my off campus house (that’s just a hazard of living in Williamsburg in the warmer months). 

 

Each hall has a Resident Assistant (RA) who is there for guidance and helps to create a comfortable living environment for everyone. Part of their job is to carry out initiatives, which are basically events where hallmates can get to know one another. One of my RAs hosted a Halloween-themed event where we got to paint pumpkins. My hallmates and I had a lot of fun painting small pumpkins for our rooms! 

 

Overall, I would rate my experience as an 8/10, and the only missing points are the insects and the lack of AC my freshman year. Overall, I loved living on campus and would recommend it to everyone, especially for the first two years. It’s such a unique experience that is hard to recreate later in life.

 

You may find these other posts about W&M useful:

 

How I Got Into William & Mary

How to Write the College of William & Mary Essay 2020-2021

 

What Are Your Chances at the College of W&M?

 

William & Mary has a competitive admissions process and acceptance is never a guarantee.  

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Anisha Vanka
Blogger

Short Bio
I'm originally from Vienna, VA and go to William & Mary. Other than writing, I enjoy baking and reading! I'm a member of my university's rowing team and am also a research assistant in a psychology lab.

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