Portland State’s urban campus camouflages historic and modern buildings, disguised in the city landscape. PSU is not your typical college campus; a majority of the community is commuter students who may know little about on-campus living. Located across the 30-plus city blocks that PSU touches, university housing offers spaces for incoming freshman, transfer students, graduate students, international students and students with children in 10 buildings: Blackstone, King Albert, Montgomery, Parkway, St. Helens Court, Stratford, Blumel, Broadway, Ondine and Stephen Epler. Each building offers a unique experience for students living on campus. Here are two students’ thoughts on PSU dorm living.
I lived in Ondine during my freshman year at PSU. The best thing about living in Ondine was the sense of community—being surrounded by other students who also live here. It was very easy to make friends and to get involved on campus. The worst for me was the fact that Ondine was pretty old, the risk of bed bugs and also the expense. But I would still absolutely have lived in the dorms. If you’re the kind of student who wants the “college experience,” living in a community with other students is perfect; it can be really hard to get connected otherwise.
It seemed like Ondine had a lot more community than the other dorms, in Broadway nobody ever hung out in community areas or left their doors open—in Ondine, that was kind of part of the culture. I would love to have that a second time.
I lived in the Broadway my freshman and sophomore year and then Blumel Hall my junior and senior year. The best thing about living on campus was probably the convenience. It’s easier to get to class and it’s easier to access the university resources. The worst thing was that I was always at school. It’s nice to be able to leave once class is over and be in a different environment.
The best thing about living off campus is having more freedom. In the dorms, there are resident assistants and rules made by the university. Living off campus, you start to feel like an actual adult and are given a bigger taste of the real word, which is great, if you’re ready. But commuting was really inconvenient. I used to live in southeast so getting to class was a struggle. Now, I live downtown and my classes are literally a block away. I guess it all depends on how close you live to campus.
I think that living in the dorms was a good idea for me. When you’re first starting college, there are things you really shouldn’t be worrying about like food, rent and transportation. When you live on campus, you are given help with all of these things and it makes it that much easier to do well in your classes and become adjusted to college life.
I loved living in Blumel Hall because it felt like an apartment. The units are about 570 square feet with a full kitchen, bedroom and living room. It was a good mix of both worlds. I would’ve loved to have lived in one of the historic buildings on campus.