Syracuse’s Freshman Dorms: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


Syracuse University dorm ranking

Syracuse University, known for its great academic programs, fruit with legs mascot, and weather which is comparable to Alaska at times. Once you are admitted and accept your position as an incoming freshman, you will learn and accept all of these points as things that just come with Syracuse student life.

However, a lot of people aren’t made aware of a huge factor of freshman life before they put their deposit down: your dorm is assigned to you freshman year, and the options aren’t great.

So in order to calm your nerves and help brace you for the worst, here is my list of pros and cons for each freshman dorm option.

Flint Hall

Flint hall in the winter at Syracuse University

Flint Hall at Syracuse University

If you have talked to any current student at Syracuse, you have heard of this dorm. For some unknown reason, everyone who lives/has lived in Flint worships it as if it is God himself. Odds are when you get on campus and you ask them where they live, they will reply with “yea I live in Flint it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me”. No Rebecca, it is not. I personally will never get the hype, and I spent a considerable amount of time in Flint visiting friends who lived there.

Pros of Flint:

The rooms in Flint are open doubles, but they are pretty big compared to most of the other dorms. The bathrooms are private and newly redone, which is a huge plus for college transitions.

Cons of Flint:

The Mount stairs are evil and you will be close to an asthma attack when you reach the top if the temperature is below 25 degrees outside. I have also heard that since people are so obsessed with Flint and their specific floors, it can get pretty cliquey in this building.

Day Hall

Day Hall at Syracuse University

Day Hall at Syracuse University

I always thought of Day as Flint’s lesser known little sister. Also located at the top of the Mount stairs, Day Hall is to the right of Flint, but a lot taller (you can actually see the top of Day Hall at certain points on campus). People who live here usually act obsessed with the Mount like Flint people are, but never really like it as much.

Pros of Day:

They just had their downstairs lobby and floor lounges redone this past year, so that is a huge plus. This building also has some of the best sunset views on campus at the end of their hallways.

Cons of Day:

The floors are currently split between open and split doubles, which was always strange to me. The floors also aren’t big, and the hallways are always a little too dark. Freshman year I also never seemed to meet that many kids that actually lived in Day, so I never spent much time there.

Brewster, Brockway, and Boland (BBB)

Brewster, Boland, and Brockway (BBB) at Syracuse University

BBB at Syracuse University

These dorms are all connected and basically the same in every aspect, so I’ll group them together and treat them as one. BBB is probably the least well known of the freshman dorms, and to be honest it’s for good reason.

Pros of BBB:

These are the only freshman dorms where you can live in a quad, and they also have a late night snack bar in the basement with decent study space.

Cons of BBB:

The dorm rooms are TINY, but they’re split doubles. The bathrooms aren’t private, the showers are really small, and the dining hall closes at 7 pm. Additionally, the location of these dorms isn’t great and the walk to campus is long and not lit well at night. Basically, not much about BBB is great, I am truly sorry.

Sadler Hall

Sadler Hall at Syracuse University

Sadler Hall at Syracuse University

This dorm usually houses the Renee Crown Honors College kids, their roommates, and a few others. Sadler is located behind the Carrier Dome (Syracuse’s famous stadium), and next to Dineen Hall (the law school building). It shares a name with Sadler Dining Hall, which is connected to the dorm and serves food to the students that live there, as well as Lawrinson students.

Pros of Sadler:

New private bathrooms, and decent sized split double rooms. The lounges on each floor are pretty big, and I know my friends that lived there hung out in them sometimes. A dining hall in your own building is a plus for sure (saturday mornings going to get breakfast in your pajamas just isn’t as embarrassing). They even have private group study rooms on the first floor you can reserve.

Cons of Sadler:

Since it’s behind the Dome, traffic is bad on gamedays and getting an Uber to the other side of campus is basically impossible. The walk to campus is long since you have to walk up the Dome steps, and there is still no gym in this building.

Lawrinson Hall

Lawrinson Hall at Syracuse University

Lawrinson Hall at Syracuse University

Be warned, my description of Lawrinson is definitely biased, since this is where I lived freshman year. Next to Sadler and behind the Dome, Lawrinson also shares its front grass with ESF’s (SUNY college of Environmental Science and Forestry)campus, which is always interesting. Forget what you’ve heard about 50 fire alarms, those are a thing of the past and weren’t a problem at all when I lived there.

Pros of Lawrinson:

Beautiful bathrooms and newly renovated rooms (some even have hardwood floor) with lots of windows. The best views on campus can be seen from the Lawrinson Penthouse, which is the study room on the top floor. However, the biggest plus for me was that the washers and dryers were located on each floor, which is insanely good for college housing.

Cons of Lawrinson:

Lawrinson’s dining hall is Sadler, which is a pain when it’s snowing and -10 degrees because you have to walk outside to get there. There aren’t nearly as many fire alarms as there used to be, however if there is one and you live on the 17th floor, have fun with that walk back up. This dorm also has all of the same Uber and walking problems as Sadler does, since they’re literally right next door to each other.

Shaw Hall

Shaw Hall at Syracuse University

Shaw Hall at Syracuse University

This singular dorm is pretty far away from the rest of the freshman dorms, but the location at the end of Comstock is pretty prime. This dorm is typically home to the engineering students as well as STEM kids in general.

Pros of Shaw:

Won’t lie, the Shaw kids have a pretty good set up. The rooms are fairly large, and the bathrooms are private. They also have a brand new dining hall attached to their building, but it also isn’t far from Ernie Davis Dining hall. The Women’s Building is across the street, so a full scale gym is only around the corner.

Cons of Shaw:

Since Shaw is so far away from the rest of the freshman dorms, kids who live there often talk about being a little isolated. Walking to go hang out with friends can become a hassle and annoying. The location of Shaw is also great, but since it is basically in University Neighborhood and on Frat Row, it can get loud.

Conclusion on Syracuse's Dorms

Freshman year was truly one of the best years of my life, and I spent time in almost every dorm, so it really does not matter where you end up. By the end of the year I had a friend in every dorm, so where you live doesn’t affect your social life in the long run. Although the freshman living situations aren’t the best, at the end of the year you’ll find your heart heavy on move out day (or sobbing uncontrollably, like me!).

Best wishes with your luck of the draw, and maybe I’ll see you around campus!