Pierce Tower

5514 South University Avenue; 250 residents

By Aviva Rosman

Ask Pierce residents for an assessment of their dorm, and you will probably hear a litany of complaints: leaking pipes, broken dryers, flickering fluorescent lights, and frequent sirens from the nearby fire station. But without missing a beat, they’ll next claim, with fierce pride, that Pierce is the best dorm on campus. What inspires such loathing and unwavering loyalty, a mixture perhaps best expressed by the popular Facebook group: “[Expletive] you Pierce, you piece of [expletive]”?

Located next to Henry Crown and a five-minute walk from the main quads, Pierce has a reputation as the most social of the U of C dorms. Because the singles and doubles size up to a mere 9×11 feet, students often prefer to spend time in the centrally located house lounges or study rooms. Each of the houses—Tufts, Henderson, Thompson, and Shorey—sponsors frequent trips, study breaks, and movie nights. Residents also participate in inter-house activities like paintball, the Pierce Sports Frolic, and Midnight Soccer.

Although older and less shiny than nearby Max Palevsky, Pierce does offer a surprising array of amenities, including music practice rooms, house kitchens, a darkroom, and the Pierce Tower Library for late night studying. It also houses the student-run snack shop TANSTAAFL. And of course, the dining hall on the first floor lets you amble down to Sunday brunch in your pajamas.

For those who crave a typical college dorm experience—complete with co-ed bathrooms and partying in the halls—you’ve come to the right dorm.