Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Your guide to living in North Neighborhood

February 27, 2020
<p>A student walks past Mason Hall on Jan. 27, 2020.</p>

A student walks past Mason Hall on Jan. 27, 2020.

Photo by Alyte Katilius | The State News

If you’re into Harry Potter-esque vibes, a tight-knit community and the convenience of being right next to Grand River, then Michigan State’s North Neighborhood is the place for you. If community bathrooms aren’t your thing and you want to live in a newer building, then look elsewhere. Most of the halls look relatively the same from the outside, but the difference comes from the little details within. 



Snyder-Phillips, also known as Sny-Phi, has one of the most convenient locations. It’s an easy 13-minute walk from the center of campus and especially Wells Hall, where you’re bound to have at least one class. 

The Gallery at Snyder-Phillips is arguably one of the top eating locations on campus. It has some of the best pizza at MSU and a solid late night menu.

If you are a part of the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, then Sny-Phi has a living-learning option for you. This is convenient as some of your classes might be held right in your dorm. 

“The dining hall is great and the Sparty's is really nice,” Psychology sophomore Natalie Mannino said. “The ceilings are taller than rooms in South or East Neighborhood and they’re not cinder block, so it doesn’t feel like you’re in a prison cell. 

Due to having one of the best dining halls on campus, Sny-Phi can get a little crowded. If you're not a big fan of noise, look somewhere else. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are prime times where it might be difficult to find a seat in your own dining hall.

“The Wi-Fi is bad, it’s not the best Wi-Fi here,” interdisciplinary studies sophomore Stephen Kurt said. “With community-style bathrooms, somehow they clean them at the right time in the morning when you’re going to take a shower.”




Mason-Abbot sits across from Sny-Phi. It tends to house a good amount of freshmen, so as a first year student, it is easier to make friends with the people on your floor. Floors are separated by gender, which could either be a pro or a con. 

Mason offers an Honors College living-learning option. There is also a printer located in both buildings, which is helpful. 

“It is surprisingly closer to everything than people say it is,” marketing freshman Marina Ackerman said. “It’s only about 15 minutes to (Spartan Stadium), which is central campus area I’d say.”

The older architecture might not be everyone’s thing, which is understandable. With older buildings comes the possibility of heater malfunction. Some of the upper floors tend to get on the hotter side during the warmer months. 

Ackerman said there is only one big con to living in Mason-Abbot. 

“There isn’t a Sparty's or dining hall in here, but it is really close.”



If you decide to live in Campbell Hall, one of the major pros is that you are right by the Union. The Union has the MSU Dairy Store, the University Activities Board and more. 

The Union late night options offer a variety of different foods such as tenders, tacos and Mediterranean food.

Campbell’s study lounge has tall glass windows, and is fairly quiet and spacious. 

“The building has a lot of character as a lot of the ones in North Neighborhood do,” psychology freshman Erin Kane said. “The location of Campbell ... I think it's perfect.”

Kane said she thinks Campbell wouldn’t be so convenient if you were to major in something different.

“If I was an engineering major, I would probably be better in South Neighborhood since that’s where those classes are,” Kane said. “Sometimes it can be a little bit loud being right across the street from all the bars and Grand River, but I love it here.”



Landon is also fairly close to the Union. What’s even better is that there is a dining hall right inside, Heritage Commons. Heritage Commons stays true to North Neighborhood aesthetics inside and out. 

Having a dining hall in your building is super convenient for those freezing days when everyone else has to trudge in the snow to the closest dining hall. Landon also has had some recent renovations and includes music practice rooms.  

“I’d say you live at a cafe, and it’s a good cafe,” computer science sophomore Sam Walls said.

Heritage Commons is a bit on the smaller side and doesn’t have much seating, thus it fills up really quickly during prime eating times. Having the same food over and over can also get old fast. 

Walls said he believes the biggest issue is the community bathrooms. They can be a struggle to get used to at first, and wearing shower shoes gets old. 



Mayo has also had some recent renovations. It has a game room, music practice rooms and quiet floors. According to the Live On website, Mayo has both single and double-style rooms which allow you to choose whether you want to live with a roommate or not. 

Pre-nursing freshman Annie Abbott said only positive things about the dorms in Mayo.

“The dorm itself is really nice, and I heard that we have the best bathrooms in North, which is nice,” Abbott said.

There are rumors of Mayo being haunted, so if that creeps you out a little bit, stay away. 



Sarah Williams, a resident assistant in Yakeley Hall, said some of the benefits of living in Gilchrist-Yakeley have to do with the sense of community it creates. 

“It is a very friendly atmosphere, I would say,” Williams said. “Everyone’s doors are always open, and it’s just very positive.”

Yakeley also holds a lot of hall events, some of which include pizza and mug decorating nights. 

“It has some really beautiful architecture, big fan of the old architecture,” Williams said. “However, one does get lost the first few times they enter the building. The bathrooms are not great. They’re fine, they function, but they’re not anything to write home about.

Yakeley is also an all girls hall, which can be a pro or a con. 



Williams Hall remains pretty quiet and empty on most days. This can be a pro for students who are pretty serious about schoolwork. The study lounges are also fairly large and roomy, which is a big plus when you need to work with a group of people. 

Williams also has some fireplaces that add a nice warm touch to the building, and students do not need to select a dining plan when living there. 

“I kind of like how small it is,” elementary education freshman Ashley Bloom said.

Williams Hall tends to be upperclassmen only. Bloom said this was one of the major downsides for her.

“Freshmen technically aren't supposed to live here, so it’s been kind of hard with having all upperclassmen here,” Bloom said.

Being a freshman surrounded by upperclassmen can make it harder to create friendships. Williams is off on its own when it comes to the West Circle area, which makes it that much more private.


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