NEWS

  /  

September 25, 2008

Stony Island

Though named after the avenue it's on, this dorm's nickname "The Island" also seems appropriate because of its isolated location at the end of 57th Street. During those cold winter months when the wind blows off Lake Michigan at bone-chillingly frigid temperatures, Stony's location (it's one of the farthest dorms from campus) can be a drag to residents who have to make the daily half-mile trek to the main quads. And because in recent quarters the CTA shuttles have been increasingly unreliable, many students are forced to brave the elements rather than risking lateness.

That said, once inside, Stony's status as one of the newer University housing options—it was built in 1988—and the fact that it was originally intended as faculty housing mean that it's one of your better options, as far as size and comfort. Stony Island's apartments are among the biggest in the housing system, offering large living rooms and kitchens. Beware of the oddly shaped smaller bedrooms in the B- and C-lettered apartments that make arranging furniture a true test of patience and endurance. The heating system is modern and reliable, and during the late spring months, when the mercury starts rising, the building's keepers turn on the A.C. Large balconies offer amazing views of the lake and the stately Museum of Science and Industry.

The balconies are also a great place to read, pluck an instrument, or socialize with some of the 80 or so other students who live in this small building that last year housed mainly transfer students. If getting around the city is your gig, then Stony is prime. It is situated steps away from a Metra station that gets you to the Loop in 12 minutes. It also borders an intersection where several bus lines stop. And while during the winter the walk to campus can challenge even the most devoted student's motivation for getting out of bed, the route still takes you through one of Hyde Park's most bustling commercial streets.

Overall, Stony is a fine option for upperclassmen who are looking for some of the structure of University housing and programming without the drunkenness, dramatics, and shared bathrooms of dorm-style housing. It is generally quiet and comfortable and—barring the walk—can make for a pleasant living arrangement.